THREE men who launched a vicious and aggressive assault on a man in an “episode of madness” have each been jailed for three years and four months.
The sustained assault, Mold Crown Court heard, left 22-year-old victim Owen Bayliss with mutiple fractures of facial bones, damage to his nose and eye socket, blurred vision and numbness in his teeth.
The judge told the three attackers they were “three fine young men in almost all aspects of your lives” but something had led them to behave in an episode of madness on February 15 as they made their way home from a pub in Buckley.
Owen Youd, who was with Mr Bayliss, was also attacked by the three but suffered less severe injuries which included a broken nose.
Before the court for sentence were Kieron Michael Payne-Linforth, 22, of Melbourne Road, Buckley, Ryan Hinton, 21, of Oakfield Drive, Buckley, and Adam Funnell, 25, of Edgeley Gardens, Whitchurch, Shropshire. Each had pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and one of assault.
Prosecutor Philip Clemo said Owen Bayliss and John Owen Youd, both 22, had gone to the White Lion pub in Buckley with two young women.
“The three defendants were in the pub in another group and words were exchanged over a previous fight between Mr Bayliss and another person,” said Mr Clemo.
At one point, Funnell called a young lady with Mr Bayliss a “slag”.
Mr Bayliss and Mr Youd and their two female companions decided to leave the pub and go somewhere “less hostile”, said Mr Clemo.
As the four made their way to Mr Bayliss’ home, the three defendants followed and Hinton shouted at Mr Bayliss inviting him to fight.
When they followed Mr Bayliss to his home, he realised he was going to be involved in a fight, said Mr Clemo.
“Some punches were thrown by Hinton and Funnell which missed. Then Funnell knocked Mr Bayliss to the floor.
“When he went to stand up, the three set about him punching and kicking and stamping to his ribs, head and back. He tried and failed to protect himself on the floor.”
Then Mr Youd was pulled to the floor and a similar attack was launched on him but he protected himself better.
The three then turned to Mr Bayliss once again, with an eye-witness describing it as even more vicious than the first attack.
“As they left Hinton was heard to shout ‘that will teach you to be cocky’,” Mr Clemo said.
Mr Bayliss was rushed to hospital by ambulance and was found to have sustained multiple fractures to bones in his face.
Simon Rogers, defending Hinton, said: “He has no previous convictions, he acted completely out of character. He’s suffered a significant bereavement with the death of his father which has affected him greatly.”
He had attended anger management classes within eight days of the offence and had expressed genuine remorse and “disbelief” he could have done such a thing.
Robin Boag said Keiron Payne-Linforth was also deeply remorseful and genuinely concerned he could have committed such an assault on a man against whom he had no grievance. His recollections were “extremely hazy” because of the amount he had drunk.
Henry Hills, defending, said Funnell was also of good character, remorseful and “appalled” by the behaviour he witnessed on CCTV.
“He’ll lose a great deal as a consequence of this episode of madness. He has a strong work ethic and has been in full-time employment since he left school at 17.
“He works for Lloyds Banking Group in PPI operations and now faces the consequences of his actions. This represents a personal tragedy for him,” said Mr Hills.
Recorder Ian Murphy QC said: “You are three fine young men in almost all aspects of your life. Yet something led you three to behave like this in an episode of madness.”
The vicious assault was captured in graphic CCTV footage showing “a frenzy of deliberate punches and kicks” which was completely out of control.
Mr Bayliss suffered serious injuries and both he and Mr Youd spoke in their victim impact statements of still