Friend of brain injury man rejects “revenge” motive claims over Halifax street confrontation

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A Mixenden man has rejected claims that his friend was “rounding up the troops” ahead of a street confrontation which ended with him being rushed to hospital.

Stuart Sinclair, 37, suffered a blood clot on his brain after a “skewer-type” implement was pushed into his eye socket during the incident near to a row of derelict shops on Stanningley Road in February.

Mark Ryan, 45, of Brow Bottom Lane, Mixenden, is on trial accused of causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Sinclair with intent, but today (Wednesday) his barrister Ken Green claimed that Mr Sinclair’s friend Christian Kershaw had been seeking “revenge” over an earlier incident that day.

Mr Kershaw told the jury he had been punched by Richard Goggin and later heard that a group of people were going to come to his home.

Mr Green suggested that Mr Sinclair had been calling “a team of Halifax doormen” and that a meeting had been set up with Richard Goggin so that Mr Kershaw could get his revenge on him.

Mr Kershaw insisted that there was no such arrangement and said it was the other group of up to 20 people who had been carrying weapons such as chainsaws, hammers and sticks with nails in them.

“They had enough weapons to take a cavalry out,” said Mr Kershaw.

“My purpose was to see why they were coming to my house because I had done nothing wrong.”

Mr Kershaw rejected suggestions that he was making things up and said he wouldn’t tell lies over such a serious allegation.

He alleged that Ryan started using vile language towards Mr Sinclair and in earlier evidence to the jury he gave a detailed description of the “sword” he alleged that the defendant had picked up.

But Mr Green referred Mr Kershaw to the statement he gave the police in the early morning after the incident in which he described the implement as looking like a coal poker.

Mr Green again suggested that Mr Kershaw had “made up” the description of the sword, but he said he had not come to court to tell lies.

Mr Green then suggested that it was Mr Sinclair who had gone back to a vehicle to arm himself with a bat and a sharp rod-like object possibly a car aerial.

“Rubbish. Absolute rubbish,” said Mr Kershaw.

“Then Mr Sinclair attacked Mr Ryan with those two objects,” said Mr Green.

“No,” replied Mr Kershaw.

Mr Green said his client pushed Mr Sinclair away and he fell to the ground.

“At no time had Mr Ryan a weapon in his possession,” suggested Mr Green.

“Yes he did have the weapon,” said Mr Kershaw.

The jury have seen brain scans which revealed the blood clot suffered by Mr Sinclair and also showed fragments of bone which had been pushed in by the implement.

The implement, which has never been recovered, has been described by the prosecution as being like a skewer or spike.

Ryan, who has also denied an alternative allegation of unlawfully inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Sinclair, was arrested shortly after the incident and in a prepared statement he said he had been surrounded by Mr Sinclair and others.

The defendant stated that he had been attacked by Mr Sinclair and denied having any weapon or causing any injury to the complainant.

The trial continues.