Jail threat after unprovoked attack

AN IPSWICH man faces jail for beating a man so badly in an unprovoked attack he was left needing emergency brain surgery.Christopher Hickey, a former Claydon High School pupil, was left with a fractured skull and a large blood clot on his brain after the savage assault by John Griffin.

AN IPSWICH man faces jail for beating a man so badly in an unprovoked attack he was left needing emergency brain surgery.

Christopher Hickey, a former Claydon High School pupil, was left with a fractured skull and a large blood clot on his brain after the savage assault by John Griffin.

Yesterday, Griffin, a 21-year-old pipe-fitter welder, was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm after he punched Mr Hickey on the side of the face outside a pub in Ipswich town centre.

Mr Hickey, who had been working in logistics for Ipswich-based haulage firm Green & Skinner, suffered contusions on both sides of the brain after he was knocked over and struck his head on the pavement.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Mr Hickey had been left unconscious with blood flowing out of his ear.

His life was saved when surgeons at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge removed the blood clot from his brain, but Mr Hickey still had to spend three weeks in the neurological care unit before being transferred to Ipswich Hospital.

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Griffin, of Rubens Road, had denied causing grievous bodily harm on September 9 last year.

But over a two-day trial the court heard he had hit three people just hours after someone had broken his own nose with a punch. His white T-shirt was left soaked in his own blood.

Griffin had been out celebrating a friend's birthday and got involved in the altercations after leaving the Ice bar in Tacket Street.

The incidents were part of what prosecutor Nick Hoffman called “a rolling melee”, involving two groups of young men, and took place in Tower Street outside The Old Rep.

Witness Nicholas Anderson dialled 999 and said of Griffin: “No-one seems able to stop him. He has already hit three people.”

Griffin, a keen rugby and football player, was arrested after three bouncers subdued him and pinned him to a wall, recorder Martyn Levett was told.

Mr Hickey suffered confusion for weeks as he recovered. He was not called as a witness because he still has post-traumatic amnesia.

Mr Anderson said the culprit was wearing a patterned Christmas tree jumper and later picked out Griffin in an identity parade, although Griffin claimed he was wearing a jumper with a different pattern.

He told the court he was not the aggressor and said he could not recall hitting Mr Hickey but said if he had it would have been in self-defence.

“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Griffin added.

On Friday Griffin was acquitted of actual bodily harm, after being accused of punching Luke Disney in a pub toilet, but was convicted of affray in relation to the disturbances in Tower Street.

Griffin will be sentenced on November 13, following pre-sentence reports.

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