Attacker sentenced to 42 months in prison

Jailed: James Pendlebury
Jailed: James Pendlebury
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A thug who fractured another man’s skull with a ‘one-punch’ attack outside a nightclub in Leigh has been jailed.

James Brian Pendlebury, 27, of Leigh Road, Atherton, was found guilty of Section 20 assault on January 9 2015, following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Today he was sentenced to 42 months in prison.

The court heard how in the early hours of Sunday, March 9 2014, Pendlebury and some friends had been in Vogue Nightclub, Leigh, along with the 24-year-old victim.

As the club closed at 5am, Pendlebury’s group, including his girlfriend, and the victim left the club and went over the road to the taxi rank.

The victim and Pendlebury’s girlfriend then started to argue near to the taxi rank, with Pendlebury standing nearby seemingly unaware.

When he noticed that his girlfriend was involved in an altercation, however, he reacted violently, ‘blindsiding’ the victim with a single punch to the side of the head.

The victim was knocked out instantly and fell heavily to the floor, knocking the back of his head on the pavement and fracturing his skull.

Pendlebury, his girlfriend and friends then walked away and jumped into a waiting taxi, leaving the victim lying unconscious on the floor.

The victim was left with severe brain injuries, the after effects of which he is still suffering today.

Detective Constable Stuart Woodhead said: “I don’t think James Pendlebury could have ever imagined just how much damage he was going to do with one punch, but that does not excuse what he did.

“It is very lucky that the victim did not die as a result of his injuries, a tragic outcome which unfortunately happens all too often in these types of cases.

“But that is not to detract from the suffering of the victim, who has experienced life-changing injuries as a result of the fractured skull.

“He can no longer smell or taste, he suffers from lateral vertigo, meaning he finds balancing difficult, and he may never work again as a result of his injuries.

“For such a young man, to be told you can no longer follow your dreams or provide for yourself must be crushing.

“There is no doubt who the aggressor is, the fault undoubtedly lies with Pendlebury, but this incident has effectively ruined two lives and for what? A drunken disagreement after a night out.”

“Both these men’s lives could be so different now had Pendlebury not resorted to violence without first thinking about his actions.”