Friends make up after brawl

A HECKMONDWIKE man has avoided prison after he left a friend with a fractured skull following a fight... and the two of them are friends again.

Stephen Hanson, 28, of Hirst Avenue, Heckmondwike, had been drinking with the complainant Anthony Shaw on July 29 last year in Huddersfield town centre when the pair became involved in an argument with one another, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, told the court that Hanson had drunk 10 pints and some Jack Daniels whisky and taken cannabis before the altercation at around 10pm.

The initial row ended with Mr Shaw falling to the ground with Hanson landing on top of him, but others intervened and both got to their feet.

Mr Ahmed said: “A witness recalls the defendant then taking a jab at the complainant and again causing him to be off balance and go to the floor but on this occasion there was to be no getting up for the complainant.”

The court was told Mr Shaw hit his head on the ground and was knocked unconscious, sustaining a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

Anna Moran, representing Hanson, said he had shown genuine remorse for his actions and maintained he had pushed the victim and not punched him but accepted he was responsible for the consequences of his actions.

She said: “He accepts his conduct was completely unjustified. Fortunately Mr Shaw has made a complete recovery.

“He has apologised to him and they are once again friends.”

Hanson admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years, with an alcohol treatment requirement for nine months and 30 rehabilitation activity days. Recorder David Wilby QC said both men were fortunate Mr Shaw had not suffered any more serious long-term consequences.

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