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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Pair battered man in ‘horrendous beating’

TWO thugs who battered a man in a “cold, calculated and vicious attack” have been jailed for almost 12 years between them.

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LOCKED UP: Eric Dixon, left, and Gregory Keating

Michael Williams had been drinking with Eric Dixon and Gregory Keating at Dixon’s home in Anson Street, Barrow, last May. Dixon discovered Mr Williams may have taken money from Dixon’s partner and Dixon and Keating launched a “horrendous attack” on Mr Williams.

At Preston Crown Court yesterday(20/4), Judge Norman Wright heard Dixon, 48, and Keating, 35, punched and kicked their victim and carried on battering him after he had fallen unconscious.

Mr Brian Treadwell, prosecuting, said: “Both defendants engaged in an assault upon Mr Williams. He passed out, at which point punches were rained upon him.

“His next recollection was waking up in hospital.”

Keating then phoned for an ambulance and Mr Williams was taken to Furness General Hospital, where doctors discovered his injuries included multiple wounds to his head and a broken nose.

In a victim statement read to the court, Mr Williams described how he had moved out of Barrow because he no longer felt safe. He wrote that he continued to look over his shoulder, couldn’t forget that night and had flashbacks when he remembered the attack.

The court heard both defendants had previous convictions.

Mr Richard Bennett, defending Dixon, said his client had received information on the date of the offence that Mr Williams had taken money from his partner.

He told the court: “I’m afraid that was the precursor to this dreadful act of violence which ensued.

“The defendant has an inability to control his anger when under the influence of drink.”

Mr James Heyworth, for Keating, said: “What happened was out of character for him in terms of both the degree and extent of the violence and consequent injury upon the complainant.

“The defendant does make it clear that he regrets, in hindsight, his behaviour and the resultant injuries he caused.”

Both defendants pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Dixon was jailed for six years and three months and Keating, of Low White Close, Barrow, was sentenced to five years and five months in prison.

The judge told them: “It was a horrendous beating up of this man when he was vulnerable.

“He passed out unconscious, but the two of you, in your drunken fury, continued to pummel and pound him, causing the injuries set out.”

After the sentencing, Detective Constable Wayne Dixon, who jointly led the investigation, said Barrow’s streets were safer now Dixon and Keating were behind bars.

DC Dixon said: “The victim was so affected by what happened he has left the area and will be permanently scarred by his injuries.

“This was a cold, calculated and vicious attack in daylight on a defenceless man. These two mindless thugs are a danger to the public and the streets are safer now they have been locked up.”

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