Mr Gibbons told the court the injuries he received had left him feeling self-conscious

'Vicious' pair who left man in coma given suspended sentences

Two men whose “vicious attack” left a man in a coma for 12 days and needing to learn to walk and talk again have been given suspended sentences.

Lancashire Police said Mohammed Asib Ali, 23, punched Mitchell Gibbons to the ground during an argument in Preston city centre in February 2020.

Uzair Bhatti, 31, then kicked the 20-year-old in the head and spat on him.

The men, from Blackburn, received two-year jail terms, suspended for 18 months, at Preston Crown Court.

A force spokesman said Mr Gibbons was set upon during a night out after an argument broke out between a group of men.

He said Ali, of Cornelian Street, punched Mr Gibbons once, causing him to fall to the ground, and as he lay unconscious, Bhatti, of Calder Banks, kicked him in the head twice and spat on him.

 

The pair then fled in a car driven by 22-year-old Dhanyal Hussain, who reversed down a one-way street in order to help them escape.

The spokesman said due to the extent of his injuries, Mr Gibbons remained in a coma for 12 days and “underwent extensive surgery, which resulted in half of his skull being removed to alleviate the pressure on his brain”.

He said the 20-year-old was left with “permanent scarring and went through months of rehabilitation to help him to learn to walk and talk again”.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Gibbons said the attack had destroyed his confidence and ruined his dream of racing a bike in the Isle of Man TT races.

He also said he had been left feeling self-conscious about his appearance.

Ali and Bhatti admitted causing grievous bodily harm and were both ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work and take part in rehabilitation activity days.

Hussain, of Whalley Range, Blackburn, denied assisting an offender but was found guilty after a trial.

He was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years and ordered to do 240 hours of unpaid work and take part in rehabilitation activity days.

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