Halifax man told he faces lengthy prison sentence after guilty verdict in “sword attack” trial

A Mixenden father is facing a lengthy prison sentence after a jury this afternoon (Friday) found him guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to a 37-year-old man who suffered life-changing injuries earlier this year.

Friday, 24th July 2015, 4:37 pm
Bradford Crown Court

The jury at Bradford Crown Court failed to reach a verdict on a more serious charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent to do grievous bodily harm, but after almost five hours of deliberation they found 45-year-old Mark Ryan guilty of the alternative allegation.

Ryan, of Brow Bottom Lane, had denied causing any injury to Stuart Sinclair during a confrontation near to a row of derelict shops on Stanningley Road in February, but the prosecution alleged that Ryan had been carrying a thin-bladed sword-type implement which penetrated Mr Sinclair’s left eye socket causing a blood clot on his brain.

The jury heard during the trial that Ryan himself had been left permanently blinded in his right eye following an accident in 2012 and after the jury returned their guilty verdict today his barrister Ken Green suggested that a report from a neuro-psychologist might assist the court.

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Mr Green suggested that such a report could look at the possible effect of Ryan’s own injury on his behaviour and thinking skills.

Judge Mark Savill said the defendant, who is now remanded in custody, was facing a lengthy custodial sentence and he was prepared to adjourn the case for longer than usual to allow the opportunity for such a report to be obtained.

The judge told Ryan that he had been convicted of a serious criminal offence and the starting point was a lengthy custodial sentence.

Ryan was remanded back into custody until his sentence hearing on September 4.

At the start of Ryan’s trial earlier this month prosecutor Caroline Wigin showed the jury 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.

She described the implement, which had never been recovered, as being like a skewer or spike and said it had penetrated about four inches into the brain.

“The complainant has suffered significant brain injury and he does not have independent recollection of the events so the Crown is relying on the recollection of those who were with him at the scene,” Miss Wigin told the jury.

She said it was obvious immediately that Mr Sinclair was very badly injured and he was taken to hospital by friends.