‘Blood was coming from his mouth’

Blackpool Magistrates Court

Blackpool Magistrates Court

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A woman has described the moment she called emergency services to help a man she found injured in the street.

John Nugent, 29, said he had been beaten up and had his face set on fire by a group of men he knew.

His eyes were badly swollen and shut, there was blood coming from his mouth and his nose was running

But when Joanne Leadbetter said she would call the police, Mr Nugent - of no fixed address - told her: “No.” Miss Leadbetter said she had been walking to her car which was parked in Topping Street with her mother when she saw Mr Nugent stumble into a lamp-post.

In a statement read to Preston Crown Court, she said: “He seemed to hit the lamp-post quite hard and ricocheted around. I asked him if he was alright.

“It was then I noticed injuries to his face. His eyes were badly swollen and shut, there was blood coming from his mouth and his nose was running.

“He seemed to be trying to talk to me but I couldn’t understand what he was saying.”

As Miss Leadbetter called for an ambulance, her mother held Mr Nugent up, assisted by another woman.

Mr Nugent told the women that his face had been set on fire and when Miss Leadbetter asked what with, he told her: “One of those refills.”

PC Tom Ketchin, of Lancashire Police, told the court he had handcuffed Mr Nugent two days before the alleged attack in connection with an allegation a woman had been robbed.

However no further action was taken in respect of that complaint and Mr Nugent was released.

PC Ketchin confirmed Mr Nugent did not have any other visible injuries on February 6. When he was called to see Mr Nugent in Blackpool Victoria Hospital on February 8, the patient had swollen eyes and was struggling to speak due to the pain he was in.

The prosecution say Mr Nugent was held captive and attacked in Jonathan Stemburski’s flat by five men. David Potts, 32, of Salthouse Avenue, Blackpool; Joshua Rollinson, 18, of King Street, Blackpool; Allan Smith, 37, of Lynn Grove, Blackpool; Andrew Southern, 36, of Lynn Grove, Blackpool and Jonathan Stemburski, 35, of Church Street, Blackpool deny false imprisonment and causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) to Mr Nugent,

(Proceeding)