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Carlisle man jailed for attacking pal loses sentence appeal

Nicky Maxwell

A THUG who left his pal with an appalling brain injury after a single-punch Carlisle attack has had a sentence appeal rejected.

Nicky Maxwell, 28, was jailed last July after felling Nathan Johnston with one unexpected blow at a city house party.

A judge at Carlisle Crown Court had heard how initial bickering between the two friends “went from zero to 100 in seconds”, Maxwell striking Mr Johnston once with a clenched fist. An eyewitness told how Mr Johnston, a father, went straight to ground and banged his head on a concrete path in the garden of a Harraby address.

The consequences of a life-changing brain injury were said to have “devastated” his family. Although able to open his eyes, Mr Johnston could not obey commands and required nursing for every aspect of his day-to-day living, the sentencing hearing was told. Maxwell, of no fixed address, admitted grievous bodily harm, and was locked up for 42 months.

Believing that the prison term was manifestly excessive, his legal team lodged an appeal which was heard at London’s Royal Courts of Justice on Friday.

But after considering submissions, three leading judges dismissed the appeal and concluded that the original sentence had been correctly imposed.

Speaking of Mr Johnston’s “catastrophic” injury, one of the appeal panel, Lord Justice Simon, remarked that it “could hardly have been worse, other than death”.

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