A THUG who brutally battered a father’s face with a hammer, leaving him bleeding on the street, has been placed behind bars.
In an unprovoked attack David Barlow, 40, of Wyndham Road, Blacon, rode up behind his victim on his bicycle and hit him in the face so hard that the side of his face partially collapsed, before riding off and leaving him in agony on the pavement.
Appearing before Chester Crown Court on Monday, Barlow was sentenced to four years behind bars after a jury found him guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm after the second seemingly random attack in less than 10 years.
The court heard how on May 15, 2010, Alexander Emslie was walking with his 15-year-old daughter Jade outside the shops on Western Avenue, Blacon, when a cyclist came up behind him and hit him in the face with a weapon.
Oliver King, prosecuting, said the victim’s teenage daughter saw Barlow ride up behind her father and punch him in the face with something silver before riding off and leaving her to care for her injured father.
“Mr Emslie remained conscious and was in fact able to see the defendant ride off,” said Mr King.
“He didn’t want to have an ambulance summoned, it was his daughter who called emergency services. He was taken to A&E in Chester, where he was found to have major fractures to the right-hand side of his face.”
Mr Emslie was then referred to a specialist hospital in Liverpool after the right side of his face collapsed following the attack and underwent painful and lengthy reconstructive surgery, where titanium plates where inserted to ‘hold his bones together’.
The court heard how in a similar attack in 2003 Barlow was jailed for 54 months after stabbing a man and leaving him wounded on the pavement.
Simon Christie, defending, said Barlow had been provoked after an argument in the street with a woman called Adele, who the father and daughter had been going to see at the time.
“This cannot have been a premeditated attack, if it was by a couple of minutes at most,” said Mr Christie.
“This was an isolated incident. The defendant is a family man with responsibilities and the last offence of this kind of nature was eight years ago.”
Sentencing Barlow to four years behind bars, Mr Recorder Judge John Corless said that Barlow could be back on the street in two years.
The judge told Barlow: “As a result of the attack Mr Emslie’s life has been changed dramatically, he finds it hard to sleep and to go out in public.
“This was an offence which caused great harm and serious injury. It was premeditated. You went up to him and struck him in the face without warning and from behind with a weapon.
“His teenage daughter was present and it must have been extremely frightening for her to witness at that age.”