Lorry driver suffered brain injuries in Leeds pub attack

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A LORRY driver lost his licence after suffering brain injuries sustained during a violent pub attack, a court heard.

Dean Fawcett caused victim Phillip Shanks to suffer a fractured skull and bleeding to his brain from a single punch thrown at the bar of the Whistlestop pub, in Town Street, Beeston. Leeds Crown Court heard the two men knew each other from socialising in pubs in the area but fell out during a conversation on September 14 last year.

Heather Gilmour, prosecuting, said things were amicable between them before Fawcett was heard to say “get out of my face” before punching Mr Shanks once to the jaw. He hit his head on the floor and was knocked unconscious.

Mr Shanks had to undergo surgery and spent five days in hospital as a result of the attack. Fawcett remained at the scene and accepted he should not have thrown the punch.

Fawcett, of Heathcroft Drive, Beeston, was arrested and told officers he had thrown the first punch as he believed Mr Shanks was about to hit him. He pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm. The court heard Mr Shanks has lost his HGV licence because of his head injuries and will only be able to return to work if he makes a full recovery.

Jane Cooper, mitigating, said Fawcett was suffering from depression at the time of the incident and his problems had been made worse by drinking alcohol. Recorder Graham Cook gave Fawcett a 16 month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was made the subject of a six month curfew order. Recorder Cook told Fawcett: “This is to keep you from binge drinking.”