A dad-of-three beaten “senseless” after confronting two teenagers as they wrecked a park today urged others not to risk their lives tackling thugs.
Mark Earnshaw, 51, was left with serious eye damage after two teenagers launched a vicious attack on him as they vandalised Anchorsholme Park in March last year.
Kyle Spence, 19, of St. Michael’s Road, Bispham and his 17-year-old accomplice were locked up on Friday for three years at Preston Crown Court for the savage attack.
Mr Earnshaw said if the same happened again he would not risk his own life a second time.
He said: “Don’t end up like me.
“It is just not worth it. You hear a lot about these one punch deaths and people being seriously hurt.
“And then there’s cases like that of Gary Newlove’s in 2007, (the Warrington dad-of-two, killed for tackling the vandals who damaged his car).
“In my view it’s just not worth risking your life. If I heard something I would call the police.”
The accounts manager had been to a friend’s birthday party in Thornton when he returned to his home in Huntingdon Road, Anchorsholme in a taxi on March 9 last year.
He was challenged by the aggressive pair who tried to pick a fight with him. He managed to diffuse the situation and retreat to his home.
However, just a short time later as he was preparing to go to bed he heard loud crashing and banging coming from the entrance of the park.
Unbeknown to him, the vandals were picking up bins and throwing them around the park. Deciding to take a closer look to see what was going on, Mr Earnshaw went out alone.
He said: “I shouted into the dark, ‘Is everyone OK there?’
“But as I walked up towards the entrance of the park I saw it was the same two lads as before.
“Again I told them I don’t want any trouble and that I was just checking everyone was OK and turned to leave.
“I must have only taken a couple of steps when I felt one of them hit me from behind.
“They were kicking and punching me. I had been pushed up against a wall trapping my right arm.
“I knew it was really important to stay on my feet because I would have less chance of getting away if I was on the ground.”
Mr Earnshaw eventually escaped and ran home.
He said: “It wasn’t until I got out of the shower and looked in the mirror that I saw what they had done.
“I didn’t recognise myself. I was bleeding badly and one of my eyes was closed. My nose was off centre and so was my jaw.”
When the police and paramedics arrived at his home the true extent of his injuries were revealed.
He had a 1.5cm hole right the way through his cheek exposing his teeth, a broken nose, a detached retina, plus dozens of cuts and bruises to his face and arms.
Hearing his attackers both face three years in a youth offenders institute, Mr Earnshaw said he felt like justice had been done.
He said: “I am not a vindictive man but I am glad they have been sent to prison. Justice has been seen to be done.
“Hopefully now they will be able to consider their actions and will hopefully be deterred from doing this to someone else.”
Despite most of the cuts and bruises healing, Mr Earnshaw has been left with permanent damage to his right eye and scars to his face.
Det Con Alan Quanbrough, who led the investigation on behalf of Blackpool CID, said: “This was a senseless, nasty and sustained attack on a victim, who received life-changing injuries.
“Mr Earnshaw was simply acting in the interests of his local community, and so, we welcome the court’s decision.”