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Man nearly killed in savage attack is sentenced for starting violence

Richard Wilkinson

A MAN nearly killed in a savage Cumbrian town attack has been given a suspended prison sentence for starting the violence which led to it.

Richard Wilkinson, 34, was initially ejected from Kendal’s Smokies bar after smashing a glass against a wall while drunk in the early hours of March 30 last year. After being involved in exchanges with Jordan Jenkinson and Luke Canning, Wilkinson warned the latter: “I’ll be back for you.”

Wilkinson left the bar, returning a short time later and waiting outside with a metal dumb bell bar secreted up his sleeve. He then head-butted Canning and struck him over the head with the bar.

However, the tables were then brutally turned on Wilkinson, who was chased to the town’s Waterside area and given a shocking beating seen by several shocked eyewitnesses, two of whom rushed to help.

Wilkinson was disarmed of his weapon, which Canning used to inflict at least 18 brutal body blows. Jenkinson also attacked Wilkinson, who received a minimum of 13 other blows to the head and face – including stamps and kicks – and suffered an “catastrophic and life-changing” injuries, Carlisle Crown Court heard. He also sustained multiple facial and rib fractures, lost teeth, was in a coma for several days and underwent surgery in hospital to release pressure on his brain following an incident he couldn’t remember.

Canning, 22, and 26-year-old Jordan Lee Jenkinson were cleared by a jury of attempted murder, but jailed in October for nine-and-a-half years and 12 years, respectively, for grievous bodily harm with intent. Both men were described as “dangerous” offenders by a judge who said Wilkinson was subjected to a “ferocious and sadistic punishment beating”.

Wilkinson, of Romney Gardens, Kendal, was charged for his role in starting the trouble. He admitted unlawfully and maliciously wounding Canning and illegally possessing the metal bar in public, and was sentenced this morning (MON).

Sarah Magill, defending, said Wilkinson was now a “completely different person” almost a year on, and “lucky” to be alive. “He doesn’t walk, talk or think in the same way,” said Ms Magill. “His injuries have redefined every aspect of every day.” She added: “But for the intervention of brave bystanders, he knows he would be dead.”

After hearing a doctor had concluded custody would be “completely unsuitable” for Wilkinson, Judge Peter Davies suspended a two-year jail term for two years. He must also complete a curfew and a rehabilitation requirement.

“You started it,” Judge Davies said of violence by Wilkinson he called “premeditated” and “unprovoked”. “You were the author of your own misfortune – terrible misfortune but you run the risk. You live by the sword, you die by the sword if that’s the way you want to go about things. You are entirely to blame for your own injuries.”

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