Man jailed for Ripponden saw attack after Eiffel Tower crash

Paul Collins
Paul Collins
  • Man jailed for four years after ‘frenzied attack’ with saw
  • Victim needed metal plate inserted in damage elbow
  • Judge said victim was ‘completely innocent’

An angry motorist who attacked an innocent man with a saw after his car crashed into a metal model of the Eiffel Tower has been jailed for four years.

Paul Collins’ frenzied attack on Ian Milner came just a month before the complainant was due to get married and left him with various injuries including cuts to his head and right forearm, a fractured elbow and a laceration to one of his fingers which required surgery to repair a damaged tendon.

Ripponden Conservative Club

Ripponden Conservative Club

Prosecutor Dale Brook said Mr Milner, who did get married as planned, had to have a metal plate inserted in his damaged elbow and his injuries had affected his ability to work as a refuse collector.

Bradford Crown Court heard on Thursday how Mr Milner had been walking home in the early hours after celebrating his stag do at the Ripponden Conservative Club when he was suddenly “hit from behind”. One witness to the attack last July described how Mr Milner was “yelping” in pain as Collins attacked him with the saw.

Collins, 37, of Oldham Road, Rishworth, later told his mother about the attack and he voluntarily handed himself in to the police the next day.

He told his mother how he had been driving through Ripponden when the Honda Civic he was driving crashed into the model Eiffel Tower which had been moved into the road.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

The impact caused significant damage to the car and Collins said he could see a group of lads laughing and shouting at him.

Collins said he was too scared to stop at that point but after turning the car round he came back and when he saw a man on his own he attacked him because he was mad.

Mr Brook said at the time of the attack the area was “strewn” with bicycles and other items such as the mock metal Eiffel Tower because of the Tour de France Grand Depart. He said the model tower was presenting an obstruction in the road, but he said there was no evidence whatsoever that Mr Milner had anything to do with it being moved.

Collins pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and his barrister Stephen Wood said if his client had been killed in the collision those responsible for moving the model tower would have been guilty of manslaughter.

Mr Wood said Collins was “sorely provoked” that night and his behaviour had been utterly out of character.

“What prompted him to offend in this way was this extraordinary unpredictable event,” suggested Mr Wood.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC described the people who had moved the tower as “very irresponsible young men” and branded them a disgrace.

The judge said Collins had been very angry about the incident, but he had then attacked a completely innocent and decent man.

Judge Durham Hall said the complainant had been terrified by the “revenge” attack and suffered very serious injuries. “Not surprisingly that young man was deeply traumatised and will continue to be so, I suspect, for many years,” added the judge.