Man knocked friend unconscious and left him in pool of blood after ‘sexual’ teasing by his mother

A man has avoided being sent to prison “by the skin of his teeth” after he knocked out a friend and left him with a pool of his own blood.

James Turner, 49, had been drinking with his parents and Mark Warburton, when Mr Warburton allegedly made ‘personal’ comments about his mother. Mr Warburton had originally come to borrow a chisel from Turner, Bolton Crown Court heard.

Crown counsel Patrick Williamson said: “The defendant testified that during the conversations between the group, Mr Warburton made extremely personal remarks, I believe sexual in nature, towards the mother of the child. ‘accused.”

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Turner, who told police he had drunk “five or six cans of Stella” and felt “joyful”, pinned down Mr Warburton and repeatedly punched him in the face. Mr Warburton was knocked unconscious and when he returned he was lying on the ground with a pool of blood beside him.

The court heard that Turner then told a family friend he “didn’t care” when they intervened and asked him what he had done. Mr Warburton suffered a cut to the back of his head, an orbital fracture, a fractured head fibula and was taken to hospital.

Mr Warburton has since recovered from the March 2019 assault, but had to undergo reconstructive surgery on his face. In a personal victim statement, he said he suffered for 18 months and still suffers from numbness on the left side of his face, which Sentencing Recorder Judge Peter Horgan described as a “reminder permanent” of Turner’s aggression.

Turner, of Vernon Street, Bolton, has 29 convictions for 69 offenses and was released from prison on license at the time of the attack. He pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr. Warburton.

In defense, Wayne Jackson told the court that Turner was trying to resolve his addiction issues, including alcohol. “He shows a willingness to cooperate with those who offer him a way forward,” he said.

“He has indicated that he understands what he has done. He is deeply ashamed of what he has done.”

Sentencing Turner to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, Recorder Horgan said: “Literally, by the skin of your teeth, I have decided not to send you to prison today, but allow me to say as clearly as possible how close you have come to being doomed and how limited your opportunities for the future are.”

Under the terms of his suspended sentence, Turner will have to complete the 32-day rehabilitative activity requirement. He will also have to pay Mr Warburton compensation of £500.

Recorder Horgan added: ‘I note you are on benefits, I note money is tight for you at the moment, but I also note you are still drinking four cans of booze a day. If you manage to find money for it, you should be able to contribute to compensation.

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