Leeds beer bottle slash attacker ‘could walk free’ in days

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A Leeds man jailed indefinitely for his part in a beer bottle attack which left a man needing 27 stitches could soon walk free from prison following a decision at the Court of Appeal.

Brian Ashton Turner has served more than five years behind bars for the 2006 attack – which he and another man committed against Michael Armstrong, then 19.

Turner, 37, of Oatland Heights, Little London, was jailed indefinitely for public protection at Leeds Crown Court in June 2007, after being found guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

But top judges said there are ‘powerful arguments’ that he should not have been handed the open-ended term and indicated it may be quashed at a later hearing – which would see him freed immediately.

The court heard Turner and his accomplice, 33-year-old Simon Leslie Beilby, of Nowell Mount, Harehills, attacked Mr Armstrong in Leeds city centre in September 2006.

The victim had been enjoying a night out with his girlfriend when he encountered the pair, who set upon him as he was in an alleyway ‘relieving himself’.

During the attack, he was struck with a glass bottle and left with cuts to his chin and back - needing 27 stitches.

It was not identified which of the thugs used the bottle, but the attack was said to be a ‘joint enterprise’ between them.

The judge said he considered they both posed such a danger to the public that they had to be locked up until the Parole Board considered it was safe to release them. Beilby’s sentence was quashed and replaced with a conventional seven-year sentence in May 2010.

Turner’s lawyers are now challenging his sentence as well, saying that there was insufficient evidence for the judge to find there was a ‘significant’ risk he would cause ‘serious harm’ in future.

Mr Justice MacDuff, sitting with Lord Justice Gross and Judge Elgan Edwards QC, said they needed more information before making a final decision.

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