A YOUNG father-of-two, who suffered a fractured skull after being battered in a two-on-one attack at a children’s playground, has been left with life-changing injuries, a court heard.

Jonathan Armstrong, then aged 28, was left with part of his skull embedded in his brain after being attacked by Callum Shepherd and Joshua Barrett at the Hawley Street playground in Colne.

Shepherd is today starting a seven-year jail sentence and Barrett a 32-month youth custody term, after the unprovoked attack, while they were high on alcohol and the street drug bubble, in July 2012.

Even Shepherd, returning to a house in Nelson after the attack, believed he may have killed Mr Armstrong, Burnley Crown Court was told.

Rock fan Mr Armstrong, a former Park High student, had been left devastated by the attack, the court heard.

He said in a statement that he found day-to-day life ‘a struggle’ because of the brain injury he suffered, as a result of the fractured skull.

His relationship with the mother of his two children had broken down and because he is now unable to work, he was unable to afford presents for the youngsters for Christmas.

In a statement he added: “There was no reason for what they did to me and I hope the judge sends them to prison for a long time.”

Passing sentence, Judge Beverely Lunt said: “The injuries inflicted on this man of this attack by both of you were both life-threatening and life-changing.”

The judge said it was apparent Shepherd had dropped an unknown object repeatedly on Mr Armstrong’s head, causing the skull fracture.

Shepherd, 21, of Hibson Road, Nelson, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and theft from Mr Armstrong, after the attack. Barrett, 20, of Sackville Street, Nelson, admitted causing grievous bodily harm.

Patrick Buckley, prosecuting, said Mr Armstrong, Shepherd and Barrett had been at a house party in Reedyford Road, Nelson, when they left to walk to Colne.

Neighbours of the playground heard three or four loud bangs and Barrett apparently telling Shepherd to stop.

Tim Brennand, for Shepherd, said his client, who had no previous convictions, had acted ‘entirely out of character’ after drinking and taking bubble.

Martin Hackett, for Barrett, said the young man had tried to get Shepherd to stop the attack and was now remorseful over his role in the violence.