A thug who beat a father with a wrench in front of his girlfriend and two young children has been jailed. John Leach, 34, launched a brutal attack on dad Gary Rigby in November last year that left the man "unconscious and bleeding" on the ground.
Mr Rigby was assaulted on Pasture Road, near Moreton train station in Merseyside after an argument at a Bonfire Night fireworks show. He was struck twice in the head at around 8.30pm before being taken to hospital with serious but not life threatening injuries, reports the Liverpool Echo.
The father suffered a skull fracture and a bleed on the brain, with a gash of 10cm also inflicted on his head as a result of Leach's attack. He required stapling, and treatment to an abrasion to his left knee in hospital.
Leach fled the scene in his girlfriend's car but was hunted down by police after witnesses identified a number plate. He appeared at Liverpool Crown Court and pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent.
His girlfriend was said to have driven her car in reverse the wrong way down a one-way street before Mr Rigby shouted at her that she was heading in the wrong direction, Prosecutor Graham Pickavance told the court.
Leach was said to have exited the vehicle and argued with the victim before getting back in the car. He shouted: "I know who you are, Gary Rigby", and "I'll find out where you live. This isn't over."
Mr Rigby reportedly chased the vehicle for a short distance before returning to his family before encountering a parked Renault Capture being driven by Leach's girlfriend. Leach went to the boot of the car and armed himself with a metal tool, believed to be a wrench, which he used to beat Mr Rigby over the head.
Judge David Swinnerton said: "I accept it was spur of the moment. But you proceeded to hit him twice over the head, leaving him unconscious and bleeding on the floor, leaving him with a 10cm laceration to his scalp, but most seriously fracturing his skull and causing a brain haemorrhage.
"You are lucky, and he is lucky, you did not kill him. That would have had devastating effects for his family, and for you - you took that risk."
Leach had 21 previous convictions for violent crimes, including common assault, actual bodily harm, robbery, affray, threatening behaviour, and attacks on police and emergency service workers, the court heard.
David Polglase, defending, said his client had shown "genuine remorse and a degree of genuine insight into his behaviour".
Judge Swinnerton stated: "Plainly looking at your record, the number and variety of violence offences... I come to a conclusion that there is a risk of you committing further offences.
"You accept you have a short temper. You have a short fuse, so you are likely to overreact with violence in circumstances such as this."
Leach was handed a six year and three months sentence in prison, with an extended licence period of four years, taking his total sentence to 10 years and three months.
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