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Man breaks stranger's jaw in 'cowardly attack'
2:30pm Friday 19th October 2012 in News
A MAN with a personality disorder has been jailed for two years after attacking a passer by and breaking his jaw.
Philip Clayton, aged 28, of Armstrong Close, Locking Stumps, carried out the vicious assault on November 27 last year.
Warrington Crown Court heard on Friday how victim Alan Williams had gone to a garage in Birchwood in the early hours of the morning.
David Jones, prosecuting, described how he walked past a group of three men, including Clayton.
“(Mr Williams) was minding his own business, listening to music and walking home,” said Mr Jones.
“For no reason whatsoever he was assaulted by the defendant.”
The court heard that Clayton punched Mr Williams who then attempted to walk off.
But the defendant followed, punching him once more from behind, breaking his jaw.
The victim was taken to Warrington Hospital at 4.05am before being transferred to the University Hospital in Liverpool five hours later.
An operation was carried out to insert a metal plate into his jaw.
Mr Williams was unable to eat solid food for weeks after the attack.
He now suffers from sleepless nights and still experiences pain in his jaw, the court heard.
Clayton had pleaded not guilty to the charge of GBH, claiming it was a case of mistaken identity.
However, he was convicted after trial on August 10 this year.
The court heard he has several previous convictions for violence.
In 2006 he was jailed for four years for a section 47 assault and in May 2011 he was convicted for another assault.
Frances Hertzog, defending, said Clayton has had issues with mental health since the age of two.
At 15 he was diagnosed with ADHD but Mr Hertzog said he had ‘slipped through the net’ and not been given proper support for his condition.
But Judge Nicholas Woodward said the attack was ‘inexplicable’.
He said: “You came back and made another attack on him, a very cowardly one from behind.
“It is a worrying factor that this unfortunate young man was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“You could have attacked anybody that night because you had chosen to do so.”