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Carlisle man who left friend with life-changing brain injury is jailed

Nicky Maxwell

[A] MAN who attacked his friend at a Carlisle house party and left him with a life-changing brain injury has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Nicky Michael Maxwell, 28, felled Nathan Johnston with a single unexpected punch in the garden of a Harraby address on April 21 as the pair bickered during a lengthy drinking session.

Mr Johnston, a father, struck the back of his head on concrete and suffered what Carlisle Crown Court heard was a “very severe brain injury”.

His current prognosis was described as being “very poor”. Although able to open his eyes, he cannot obey commands and requires nursing for every aspect of his day-to-day living.

Maxwell, who initially denied any involvement or striking any blow, later pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

The massive impact of his crime was said to have “devastated” members of Mr Johnston’s family, some of whom read aloud moving impact statements during a sentencing hearing this afternoon (FRI).

“I am dying inside,” Mr Johnston’s sister, Justine, told the court. “It is destroying us all.”

Jailing Maxwell, of no fixed address, Judge Adkin said of the victim’s family: “Mr Johnston’s life, and their lives, have been wrecked by your drunken, foolish behaviour.”

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