Yob attacker fails in bid to win sentence cut

By Phil Turner | 31/03/2010 0 comments

Yob attacker fails in bid to win sentence cut

A ROTHERHAM man who broke a student's jaw in two places has had his custodial sentence backed by appeal judges who rejected claims that the injuries were "not particularly grave."

Matthew Holdsworth (20) was locked up for eight months at Sheffield Crown Court in January after admitting inflicting grievous bodily harm in an unprovoked attack on 21-year-old Adam Hill.

Mr Hill was walking home around midnight last August when confronted by a drunken Holdsworth, who had attended a charity event for a relative undergoing cancer treatment, the Appeal Court heard.

Holdsworth, of Tennyson Road, Herringthorpe, turned on Mr Hill's companion, and then lashed out at Mr Hill as the young student vainly tried to "pacify" him.

He swung two devastating punches, which connected with the side of Mr Hill's jaw and caused two fractures.

Mr Hill needed surgery and metal plates inserted to treat his injuries inflicted during the incident in Badsley Moor Lane, Rotherham.

He was also left psychologically marked by his ordeal and needing counselling in the aftermath of the attack, the court was told.

Mr Justice Walker, sitting with Mr Justice Nicol last Thursday, accepted that Holdswoth was a young man of previous good character, for whom this was an "isolated" outburst of violence.

But he rejected submissions by Holdsworth's legal team that Mr Hill's injuries were "not particularly grave."

The judge noted that the student sustained two jaw fractures—one on each side of his face—and required intensive medical treatment.

Mr Justice Walker said: "It is impossible to say that this injury was not particularly grave. The impact on the victim was serious indeed."

Holdsworth's lawyers also urged the court to show mercy in light of his good character and the compassionate circumstances of the case.

But Mr Justice Walker, dismissing the appeal, said that the sentencing judge had already taken a "merciful approach" in imposing the eight-month term.

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