Man savagely beaten behind McDonald's suffered 'catastrophic' brain injuries

By John Davies & Alahna Kindred

A man was so savagely beaten behind a McDonald's he suffered "catastrophic" brain injuries.

Luke Brewer, who used crutches because of a medical condition, was left in a vegetative state for some time after the attack and he will never be able to live independently again.

McDonald's staff in Brighouse, West Yorks. saw Mr Brewer sitting with Brian Marsden, 44, in a park behind the fast-food restaurant in April, YokrshireLive reports.

Prosecutor Helen Chapman said a witness later saw Marsden throwing a crutch into a bush before stamping on something out of sight.

Another staff member also saw Marsden kicking at something before seeing the defendant’s hands were “red with blood”.

When police arrived at the scene Mr Brewer was unconscious on the ground and Marsden was still kicking him in the face.

Marsden, of Brighouse, claimed Mr Brewer attacked him first but said he had got the better of him.

Marsden was jailed for 12 years at Bradford Crown Court.

Miss Chapman said the victim was unable to say what happened to him because of the severity of his injuries.

No one else was in the confrontation to explain what happened either.

Mr Brewer suffered extensive facial injuries as well as blood in his airways, a blood clot on his brain and nasal fractures.

Miss Chapman said he was a "choking risk" and needed to be fed by nursing staff.

She also said there were plans to move him to a specialist brain injury unit in Darlington.

She said the complainant needed care and supervision 24 hours a day seven days a week.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Brewer’s mother described how she was told her son may not live and that he had no quality of life and was likely to remain in that condition.

Marsden was initially charged with attempted murder, but earlier this month the prosecution accepted his guilty plea to an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Barrister Gerald Hendron, for Marsden, said he had a long-standing addiction to drugs, but there were virtually no offences for violence on his criminal record.

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He said Marsden maintains he attacked first, but he said what happened after was “over the top”.

He said: "To that extent, his case is he did not start this but what he did was he lost all self-control."

Judge Richard Mansell QC described the attack as “savage and sustained” and said Luke had offered no real threat to the defendant.

The judge said during sentencing: "Mr Brewer suffered catastrophic life-changing brain injuries as a result of this assault.

“Five months after the assault the prognosis was and remains he is unlikely ever to return to independent living.

“He was highly vulnerable as you well knew. You even threw his crutch away before you started kicking and stamping on him.”

After the case, Detective Chief Inspector Sam Lindsey said: "This was a shocking assault that has left the victim with considerable life-changing injuries.

"The extent of his injuries were so severe that he still hasn’t been able to provide an account to the police of what happened to him that day and why.

"Marsden is clearly a dangerous man and this sentence ensures he will be behind bars for a considerable period of time.

"When the first officer on the scene arrived they found Marsden still assaulting his victim and swiftly intervened and urgent medical assistance was provided to the victim."

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