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Men cleared of Kendal murder bid – but face lengthy jail terms for “vicious” attack

The incident scene at Waterside, Kendal

TWO young men have been found not guilty of trying to kill a man who was attacked with a metal bar in Kendal and left seriously injured.

Luke Peter Canning, aged 22, of Bridge Street, Burneside, and 26-year-old Jordan Lee Jenkinson, of Lound Road in Kendal, denied a charge which alleged they attempted to murder Richard Wilkinson following an incident at the town’s Waterside just before 2am on March 30.

After a week-long trial at Carlisle Crown Court, a jury took less than an hour this afternoon (WED) to acquit Canning and Jenkinson of that allegation. However, Jenkinson was convicted, unanimously, of causing grievous bodily harm with intent – an offence which Canning had admitted.

The prosecution told how the pair mounted a “revenge attack” after Canning was head-butted by 33-year-old Mr Wilkinson outside town pub Smokies. Mr Wilkinson left the area and returned with a metal bar but was disarmed and subjected to a ferocious attack after being pursued to Waterside.

Photo of the metal bar which was recovered at the scene shown to jury

A number of eyewitnesses told jurors they saw metal bar violence which one described as “vicious”. Two went to help Mr Wilkinson, while a third later said of one attacker: “He had swung the object with such force that it looked as if he didn’t care if he took the male on the ground’s head off. It was a full-powered downward strike with one hand.

Mr Wilkinson – who could not recall the incident but made a good recovery – suffered facial and rib fractures, and lost teeth. A Home Office pathologist asked to provide an expert opinion concluded he received at least 31 blows, including four stamps and five kicks to the head and body, and 18 strikes to the torso with a blunt cylindrical object. In addition, he suffered “typical defence-type wounds” to his lower arms.

Following the jury verdicts, Judge James Adkin adjourned the case and asked for background reports assessing the risk posed by Canning and Jenkinson of causing future serious harm to the public.

Remanding both men in custody until October 14, Judge Adkin told them: “You should both expect long custodial sentences for your involvement.”

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