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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Trial day one: Neighbour ‘sickened’ by Barrow attack

A BARROW gym owner was subjected to a sustained and unprovoked attack as he lay on the ground, leaving him with facial fractures, it has been claimed.

Report from day four: Barrow accused ‘panicked’ and did not want to fight
Report from day three: Barrow gym boss made 'threatening calls' to attacker
Report from day two: Trial over Barrow gym boss assault continues

Stanley Dewhurst was said to have been punched possibly 10 or 12 times by a man who had pounced on him and sat astride him after he fell to the floor.

Preston Crown Court has also heard claims that his alleged attacker, Callum O’Hare, had earlier invited him by text to a fight. O’Hare told police in questioning that he had acted in self defence.

Scans showed that Mr Dewhurst had sustained fractures to his upper right jaw, eye sockets and lower jaw.

Four metal plates were inserted during surgery.

O’Hare, 24, of Abbey Road, Barrow, has gone on trial accused of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and an alternative charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm on March 25, 2012.

At the start of the trial the jury were told that the defendant was previously said to have posted derogatory comments on Facebook about a female member of Mr Dewhurst’s gym in Hartington Street, Barrow.

In January of that year, Mr Dewhurst rang him and asked him to stop. Mr David Potter, prosecuting, said that later, on the night of March 24, Mr Dewhurst was enjoying a night out in Barrow when he saw O’Hare inside Manhattans nightclub. O’Hare was said to have climbed to the top of some stairs and, bare-chested, gesticulated to Mr Dewhurst something like “come on”.

The defendant left the club. While walking home Mr Dewhurst got messages from the defendant’s phone inviting him to go round to his home and fight.

The prosecution said Mr Dewhurst decided to go round to resolve things amicably, thinking O’Hare’s parents might be there and that he could have a word with him.

He asked a friend to go with him and they went in a taxi.

Mr Potter claimed that O’Hare crossed over the road to where the taxi dropped them off and was extremely aggressive, shouting and waving his arms around.

Mr Dewhurst told him to calm down and said he only wanted to talk. “According to Mr Dewhurst, the defendant continued to be extremely aggressive, dancing on his feet as though a boxer, flailing his arms around and advancing towards him”, said Mr Potter.

Mr Dewhurst kept putting a foot out to try and stop him getting closer. At one point Mr Dewhurst lost his balance and fell to the floor, possibly striking his head.

Mr Potter claimed: “This was the opportunity Callum O’Hare was waiting for. No sooner had Mr Dewhurst struck the floor than the defendant pounced on top of him, sat astride him and inflicted a sustained, serious and totally unprovoked assault upon him, repeatedly punching him to the head and face”.

According to the friend 20-30 feet away, after the first two blows, Mr Dewhurst’s body stopped moving, as though he had been knocked out. Nevertheless, numerous blows were said to have followed. The friend thought there were at least 10 blows to the head.

A neighbour who had been woken by a male shouting outside, thought O’Hare had punched the man at least a dozen times. The blows were “ferocious” and left him feeling sickened.

O’Hare later claimed to police that Mr Dewhurst had been trying to come into his house where his mother and two youngster sisters were.

He denies the charges and it is though the trial could last into next week.

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