A couple who carried out an attack that left a man with life-changing injuries and unable to work have been jailed today (22 October 2021).
John Whitby, who was 36 when he was attacked, had to undergo emergency brain surgery and spent more than seven months in hospital following the attack in April 2020. He is not expected to work again as a plasterer.
Catherine Mary Jones (DoB 26/02/1980), of Stourport Close, Romiley, Stockport, pleaded guilty to section 20 assault on 14 May 2021.
Joel Lloyd Hall (DoB 24/11/1982), of Wardle Close, Stretford, originally pleaded guilty to section 18 assault on 14 May 2021 but then tried to change his plea. His guilty plea was confirmed at a hearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on 23 September 2021.
They were jailed today 22 October 2021 at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court, Hall was jailed for 11 and a half years and Jones for 30 months.
Police were called to Moss Road, Stretford, at about 6.30am on Saturday 18 April 2020 to reports a man was being assaulted by a man and a woman outside the house.
Jones and Hall punched and kicked the victim in the street after a night drinking together. Witnesses then saw the pair carry Mr Whitby back into the house.
When they attended, officers found Mr Whitby on the sofa but there was no visible evidence of an assault. They also spoke to Jones and the victim’s partner, who both said they were unaware of any incident.
Two hours later, Mr Whitby’s partner found him in bed, unresponsive and covered in vomit, and she called an ambulance.
Mr Whitby, who has two young children and four stepchildren, was taken to hospital, where he underwent surgery to relieve a bleed on the brain and was put on a ventilator.
He then spent the next seven months in hospital, finally being released in November 2020.
When police raided Jones’ Stockport home later on the day of the attack, they found Hall hiding in an airing cupboard and both were arrested.
Detective Constable Jane Naylor, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “This was an unprovoked and brutal attack that has had a devastating effect on the victim and his family.
“The family have really struggled and the victim didn’t see his children or stepchildren for seven months while he was in hospital. It is also unlikely he will ever work again.
“Hall and Jones are now rightly behind bars but the change of plea and the long delay has caused further upset and stress to the family.
“I would also like to thank the witnesses for their bravery as their evidence has put two violent offenders behind bars.”
Mr Whitby’s partner, Haley Shakoor, prepared a victim impact statement for the court.
She said: “John is not the man he was before he was assaulted and never will be.
“He used to be very fit and used to walk up mountains with his brother.
“He worked full time as a plasterer, working long hours – he walked or went everywhere on his bike.
“He was super strong and regularly played football with his friends. John does none of these things now – it has all been taken away from him.
“He cannot even hold a paintbrush now, which causes him great distress and upset. I don’t think John will play football or work again.
“I wish the people who did this could see the life he is living and could see everything they have taken away from him.”