Yorkshire man jailed for crippling victim

Adam Smith.
Adam Smith.
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A violent drunk who left his victim unable to walk or talk after an unprovoked nightclub attack has been jailed for nine years and four months.

Adam Smith, 25, threw eight punches at Phillip Snowden before kicking him “like a goalkeeper” in the head on the dance floor.

Mr Snowden collapsed immediately after the attack in Mustang Sallys club, Wakefield, and now needs 24-hour care.

The 33-year-old and his wife Lisa were about to adopt children begin a new life in Canada when the attack happened in October 2010.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday how Smith, who has a history of violence dating back to when he was a schoolboy, received a caution for knocking out a man in the queue of the same nightclub in 2007.

Smith, covered in blood from an earlier fight, was on a night out with his rugby team mates.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said Smith carried out the attack despite Mr Snowden raising his arms and backing away to indicate he did not want any trouble.

He threw a series of punches to his face, knocking backwards. Mr Smith said: “The kick to the face was described as like a goal keeper trying to kick a ball over the halfway line.”

Mr Snowden suffered brain and spinal injuries and has not been able to walk or talk properly since. Smith, of Cobblers Lane, Pontefract, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent.

Robin Freize, for Smith, said his client was well regarded and someone who worked hard for his family but had a problem with violence when he had been drinking. Mr Freize said Smith had no recollection of the attacking.

He said: “He has expressed undoubted and very genuine remorse at what he has done. He accepts it is completely his fault.”

Jailing Smith, Judge Christopher Batty said: “You went out with your friends and had far too much to drink. At the same time Mr smith went out with his friends, leaving his partner in order to enjoy a night out. He had never been in trouble.

“He was recently married and hoped to adopted children, making a new life in Canada. He went for a night out and he never came back - and that is down to you.”

After the hearing Mr Snowden’s father, Frank, said his family had set up a Facebook page, called Justice for Big Phil, warning against the danger of drink-related violence.

He described his son, who is 6ft 11ins and worked as a welder, as a “gentle giant”.

He said: “He was hoping to move abroad and start a new life aboard to get away from the idiots like the one who attacked him.”