Man’s nose broken in doorstep attack

DRUNKEN Anthony Forrester broke a deaf man’s nose in an unprovoked attack outside his home.

Philip Cotterill, who is profoundly deaf, was at home with him mum in Lower Bethesda Street, Hanley, at 9.30pm on November 8 last year when he felt a slight vibration.

He went to investigate and noticed eggs had been thrown at his window. He went outside, but could not see anyone.

He asked a neighbour to call the police and as he returned to his house he saw the defendant approach from an alleyway at the side of his house.

Prosecutor Philip Beardwell told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday that Mr Cotterill saw Forrester urinate outside the fire station before he walked towards him.

“Mr Cotterill closed his gate. The defendant’s body language was aggressive. Mr Cotterill asked him to go away repeatedly.

“The defendant ignored the request and then hit him directly to his nose with a clenched fist.

“The defendant then grabbed a brick pillar causing it to fall down. He picked up a brick. Mr Cotterill turned to go in his house when he felt a hard blow to the back of his head.

“He ran inside and closed the door behind him.”

The court heard police officers saw the tail end of the incident and witnessed Forrester throwing bricks.

Mr Cotterill was left with a broken nose and a small cut to the back of his head, which needed one stitch.

In his victim statement he said the attack had left him more vulnerable, nervous and depressed.

His sleep pattern had been affected, as had his daily life. He added that he had to have his nose corrected.

Forrester, aged 41, of Furnival Street, Cobridge, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

Nicola Bell, defending, conceded it was a “dreadful” offence and a custodial sentence was inevitable.

She said Forrester, who has battled a heroin problem for most of his adult life, had no previous convictions for violence.

She said he was remorseful and apologised to Mr Cotterill and his mother.

“He was heavily in drink and had also taken diazepam. He has very little recollection of what occurred.

“He is not a violent man.”

Jailing Forrester for 20 months, Judge Paul Glenn said: “This was an unpleasant and totally unprovoked assault on an innocent man. He was deaf. There is no evidence you knew that, nor that you were responsible for the damage caused to his house which brought him out in the first place.

“While he was looking at the damage on the windows you came across the road. You punched him and hit him so hard you broke his nose.

“Not content with that, you pulled away part of a brick pillar. As he tried to flee you threw a brick at him.

“This has had a significant effect on Mr Cotterill.

“The offence is so serious only custody is appropriate.”

Stoke Sentinel

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