Victim of violent nightclub attack speaks out

A man says his life has been ruined by thugs who launched a violent attack on him in a Todmorden nightclub.

Friday, 13th November 2015, 11:20 am

Thomas Stretton was left with a fractured eye socket and an injury to his shoulder when he was dragged down a flight of stairs and kicked and punched during the assault at the TC nightspot in March.

Christopher Hirst, who has a previous conviction for affray, Terence Brazier and Gary Brierly were all handed suspended prison sentences at Bradford Crown Court after they admitted a charge of causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Stretton.

Mr Stretton, an abattoir worker, underwent facial reconstruction surgery following the attack, but says the emotional scars run much deeper.

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Thomas Stretton who was badly injured during an attack outside a nightclub.

“For the first few months after it happened, I had to have counselling. It put me into a state of depression,” Mr Stretton, 31, of Walsden said.

“It was a bad time, it still is. It kept me out of work for six months. I didn’t provoke anyone, I just went out for a night out.

“What they did was the act of cowards, they ruined my life for six months and I hope they are ashamed of themselves.

“I don’t think they have got a fair punishment, at least two of them should have done time. On photographs, you can see the boot marks on my head.

“As I hit the floor, I remember all the blows coming in and after that I was pretty much unconscious. After that, my next memory is vomiting in the toilets whilst blood poured out of my mouth, nose and face.

“I think at first the police just thought it was a nightclub brawl that had gone wrong. I didn’t feel like I was being treated as a victim at all and I still don’t with the sentences they have got.

“They’ve not done any jail time for it, I’ve lost more than £5,000 in earnings. I regret ever going out that night, I’ve not been in there since and I will never go in there again.

“I stay to the one pub if I go out now and that’s it. It’s a shame that my life has been so affected, it’s not on.

“I could have lost my vision in my eye, I’ve lost the feeling in part of my face and lifting my arm up still hurts.

“I’m fairly sure they will do it again to somebody else.”

Hirst and Brazier will each have to do 240 hours unpaid work for the community and Brierly will have to do 180 hours.

Judge Peter Benson said tensions had been bubbling that night and said at one stage Mr Stretton was on top of Hirst and that was the trigger for his two friends to join in.

“That sort of conduct, whatever the initial provocation, is wholly unacceptable and it is fortunate that he has not suffered any severe or permanent injury to his eyesight or indeed any more serious injury than he did,” noted the judge.