A FACTORY worker who knocked a man unconscious with a single punch outside an East Lancashire pub has been warned that the consequences could have been fatal.
Recorder Raymond Herman’s assessment of Lee McDonald’s attack on Matthew Shaw in Colne has echoes of the Consequences campaign set up by the parents of Adam Rogers, who lost his life after a similar attack in Blackburn five years ago.
Dave and Pat Rogers established the ‘Every Action Has Consequences’ educational programme, after the football coach died after a fall caused by a single blow during a night out.
Father-of-three McDonald, 29, was appearing for sentence at Burnley Crown Court after admitting to assaulting Mr Shaw outside the Union Exchange pub.
Mr Recorder Herman said that the courts were only too aware of circumstances in which a single blow is struck, a fall then occurs, and the assault results in death.
“It is only good fortune that that did not happen,” he told the court.
CCTV footage was played to the court showing footage of another disturbance, just after 3am, when McDonald launches an ‘unprovoked attack’ on his victim.
Prosecutor Joseph Allman said that the two men were not known to each other but had been ‘milling around’ outside the Colne pub.
The court heard that McDonald had a number of criminal convictions for violence, having served 18 months youth custody in February 2006 for inflicting grievous bodily harm and a similar three-year term for violent disorder in 2008.
But James Heyworth, defending, said that McDonald had no serious convictions since 2010 and had ‘turned over a new leaf’, securing shift work at Silentnight and starting a young family with his partner.
He told the court that his client had settled down and the attack had ‘unfortunately’ occurred on a rare night out in the town, which he regretted.
Mr Recorder Herman said he wanted to give the defendant ‘a chance’, as he was now working and he was conscious of the effect of immediate prison on his children.
McDonald, of North Street, Colne, was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and 12 months probation supervision, alongside an £800 compensation order for Mr Shaw.