Brick attack pair jailed

John McWilliam
John McWilliam
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A BLACKPOOL man feared for his life after he was attacked with a brick in his home and the flat set alight.

Gary McLoughlin was eventually able to flee to the hallway of the address on Albert Road before fire officers arrived to deal with the incident.

Leonard Coid

Leonard Coid

Residents were helped to safety as thick black smoke filled the landing area.

Two brothers were sentenced at Preston Crown Court for their parts in what happened in May last year.

John McWilliam, 41, of Devonshire Road, Blackpool, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He was given a 14-month sentence, although he will be released shortly due to time spent on remand.

His 35-year-old brother Leonard Coid, also of Devonshire Road, was jailed for two years after admitting affray and arson.

The court heard McWilliam had struck Mr McLoughlin with his fists in his flat before grabbing hold of a brick he found and twice striking out with it.

Coid took hold of a duvet, threatening to set it alight and the bed cover caught fire.

This all arose after one of the brothers had an argument with Mr McLoughlin.

Kirsten McAteer, prosecuting, told the court Mr McLoughlin stated he had answered a knock at his door that evening to find two men stood there.

He claimed he was assaulted within seconds of the door being opened, with blows occurring to his head and face.

McWilliam punched him to the head and face. He then went on to be hit with a brick.

Miss McAteer added: “Mr McLoughlin had a strong concern about losing his life. He got to his feet and made a break to the door.

“There was further scuffling, but he was able to get to the hallway where he shouted to a friend to call the police.”

One witness described Mr McLoughlin as having blood covering his face.

He said: “They’re trying to kill me”.

Thick black smoke was covering the landing. Residents were helped to safety and one was given oxygen.

An estimated £4,000 damage had been caused to the flat and there was a £900 loss of rent over a 12-week period.

Peter Horgan, for McWilliam, said the brothers had not gone to the flat for violence. An argument had arisen in the flat between his client and Mr McLoughlin.

“Having got the better of the complainant, he assaulted him with his fists and perhaps, most seriously, picked up a brick in the flat. He used it twice to strike him.”

McWilliam had served the equivalent of a 14-month sentence through his time spent on remand.

Paul Humphries, defending Coid, said it had not been his client’s argument with Mr McLoughlin and he himself had called for the assault to be stopped.

“He was drunk. He can’t say why, but he held his lighter, threatening to set fire to the duvet,” said Mr Humphries.

Judge Pamela Badley said the victim had found himself in a terrifying situation. The fire could potentially have been very serious, she added.