Blood-stained thug jailed for ‘cowardly attack’

Rhys Price, jailed for attack in Blackpool
Rhys Price, jailed for attack in Blackpool

A blood covered attacker who was seen in a McDonalds restaurant boasting he had ‘beaten someone up’ has been jailed for 38 weeks.

Rhys Anthony Price, 22, of London Road, Blackpool, cried and wiped tears away in the dock at Preston Crown Court as the horrific unprovoked attack was described.

What happened was a serious piece of disorder in which you played a very particular role. You chose to launch at him to the most vulnerable part of his body, his eye.

The victim was punched repeatedly in the street and left with eye injuries in the incident on January 21.

Prosecuting, Mercedah Jabbari said the victim and his friends had been walking into the town centre for some drinks after finishing work.

She added: “They saw a group of around six in front of them. There was a brief conversation with a girl from that group and she asked a member of the group if he was someone she knew.

“As soon as they passed the group they heard the group starting to shout towards them.”

The prosecutor said the victim ‘heard a glass bottle smash very close to them’ and said one witness described a further two bottles being thrown.

She described how Price rushed towards his victim, adding: “Clearly at this stage he did not know what was occurring. He began to apologise, albeit he did not know what he was apologising for, and tried to calm things down.

“The defendant then, without any provocation, punched (him) straight in the face.”

The court heard during the same incident a woman was attacked by a woman from Price’s group.

The offenders fled to a nearby McDonalds, despite Price having his victim’s blood all over his hands, where he boasted about the attack.

Price admitted causing actual bodily harm and a further charge of assault after he headbutted a worker at the restaurant.

At the time he was subject to a suspended jail term.

In an impact statement the victim said he felt anxious when in the town centre and fearful he may be attacked. He had to take three days off work due to his black eye and had been left with a small scar.

Defending, Julie Taylor said Price had significant mental health issues including ADHD, anxiety and depression, and drinks to relieve the anxiety.

Judge Robert Altham said: “He was, as he was perfectly entitled to do, going out for drinks when he saw you with a group of friends, clearly spoiling for trouble.

“What happened was a serious piece of disorder in which you played a very particular role. You chose to launch at him to the most vulnerable part of his body, his eye.

“You punched a man who had done absolutely nothing to deserve it. Of course, as in the nature of cowardly attacks, because this was a cowardly attack, you then ran off.

“When you were found you literally had your victim’s blood on your hands. It’s a really unpleasant injury.”