MP slams jail sentence after punch left Wrexham man in a coma

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

AN MP has branded the two-and-a-half year jail sentence imposed on the habitual criminal whose single punch left a Wrexham man in a coma a ‘disgrace and a joke’.

Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones has demanded a top-level probe of the case by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.

Alan Junior Gilmartin, 30, of Sycamore Drive, Lache in Chester, was on licence when he carried out the vicious attack on 38-year-old David Morton Thomas, from Johnstown at the Temple Bar in Frodsham Street, Chester on March 19.

Mr Thomas was sitting on a bar stool when he was first pushed and then punched by Gilmartin.

His head struck the slate floor which rendered him unconscious.

After initial treatment at the specialist head injuries unit at Liverpool’s Walton Hospital, Mr Thomas is still gravely ill and under 24-hour nursing care at Wrexham Maelor Hospital and being fed through a valve in his stomach.

At a sentencing hearing at Chester Crown Court Gilmartin was sent down for two and a half years for the attack by Judge Nicholas Woodward.

The court was later told Gilmartin had a record dating back to 1995, including previous convictions for burglary and a number of violent offences.

He was convicted for burglary in 2006 and in 2009 he was sent to prison for 12 months for assault.

It also emerged he was out on licence at the time he attacked Mr Thomas.

Members of the victim’s family wept in the public gallery as the sentence was handed down.

Ms Elan Jones said: “The sentence Gilmartin received was a disgrace and a joke.

“I am interested in why he was out on licence at the time this assault on Mr Thomas took place.

“I understand he had attacked people before.

“If he follows the same model there is likely to be a repeat performance when he gets out in 18 months to two years.

“That is why I am calling for an investigation by the Justice Secretary and anyone else in his department who can give me a full explanation of this.”

Mr Thomas’ family have not spoken about the sentence but close family Ian Powell, of Moreton Avenue, Johnstown, said: “To say this sentence is lenient doesn’t begin to describe it. It is an absolute disgrace and we are all very wound up.”

See full story in the Leader

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