Yob given 18-months for head-butt attack on Parkgate man who later died A MAN whose ill 67-year-old father died nearly three months after he was head-butted by a teenage yob today slammed an 18-month custody sentence handed to his attacker.
James Crawford, 18, was put behind bars yesterday for viciously assaulting Alan Corney as he enjoyed a walk with his wife in picturesque Parkgate, Neston.
Warrington crown court heard how the teenager went “out of control” after the antique dealer asked him to stop swearing in The Parade on November 14 last year.
Crawford admitted grievous bodily harm and received a custody term of under two years yesterday, the maximum Judge Stephen Clarke was allowed to pass.
But his heartbroken family admitted they were “extremely disappointed” by the result and strongly felt Crawford’s jumping headbutt left Mr Corney “dead”.
The father-of-two collapsed weeks later and fell into a coma from which he never recovered.
Duncan Bold, prosecuting, said: “The language they were using and their behaviour was described by Mrs Corney as disgusting and she felt intimidated and vulnerable.
“Alan Corney approached them, asked them to keep their language down and took hold of the defendant by his clothing.
“Although causing no real threat, the defendant went ‘sick’ at Mr Corney. He went mad, jumped into the air and crashed down onto his face with his head.”
The court then heard how Crawford “jumped around excitedly and laughed” before running away.
Mr Corney, who walked with a limp and had a paralysed arm after two strokes, suffered a broken cheek bone and developed a blood clot on the brain after being headbutted.
He collapsed at home and died in hospital on February 6 after brain surgery, which left him in a coma.
But because Mr Corney suffered a second bleed on the brain, it could not be proven evidentially the head-butt caused his death.
His distraught family disagreed.
His son Michael said: “Our family will never recover from the vicious assault on my father by James Crawford.
“We welcome the conviction of GBH, but we are very disappointed we were unable to pursue the charge of manslaughter.
“The judge had his hands tied. He has received the maximum sentence which could be handed out today.
“This could have been anyone’s mother, father or grandparent.
“You have to remember all he did was ask the two young lads to stop swearing.
“He had a paralysed arm and left leg, he did not look a well man.
“One of his last experiences of his life was being viciously assaulted by a hoody.
“He went through the pain of the injuries. It was not a quick death – it was painful all round.
“Now I remember him in a hospital bed rather than the good times.”
Passing sentence, Judge Clarke said: “It has an all-to-familiar ring of what is happening time and time again in our villages, towns and cities. People act without any thought about the consequences of what they are doing and show the merest respect to other human beings.
“Courts can only do so much. The real problems lie in our society, which has lost respect for each other.
“You were aware of what you were doing and aware of who you were doing it to, an elderly gentleman old enough to be your grandfather, and I hope you are ashamed.”
Detective Inspector Andy Smith, of Cheshire police, said: “It was a cowardly attack on a vulnerable individual.
“Norma, his wife, will never get over it.
“All they did was go for a quiet drink in Parkgate Parade.”
Crawford, of Claypit Lane, Wrexham, has previous convictions for theft and criminal damage and was living in a hostel at the time of the attack. THE ECHO