Life destroyed by single blow

Tyrone Smith
Tyrone Smith
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A THUG who destroyed a Blackpool dad’s life with a single blow has been jailed for three years.

The devastating punch from Tyrone Smith left former head chef Dowyn Wright brain damaged – and doctors are unable to say if he will ever recover.

Preston Crown Court heard how Smith, of Hawes Side Lane, Marton, launched the “horrific” and “unprovoked” attack on Mr Wright as he waited at a town centre taxi rank with his son in July last year.

The 33-year-old had first hurled abuse at Mr Wright as he drove past the taxi rank, in Caunce Street, before stopping his BMW, jumping out and landing the blow.

The force of the punch caused Mr Wright to fall and crack his head on the pavement, leaving him with a fractured skull.

And after Smith pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm, the court was told the devastating impact the offence had had on Mr Wright’s life.

Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said: “The position of Mr Wright and his family could not be more serious or tragic.

“He has not recovered from this blow – far from it. He worked as a head chef prior to this and has always worked.

“He doesn’t work any longer. He has the greatest difficulty in communicating.

“He is 42 years old. Doctors can’t say if he will ever recover.”

In the aftermath of the attack, Mr Wright spent two months in and out of hospital and more than a year later he remains in the care of his family.

Mr Brookwell described how he struggles to communicate and receives speech therapy once a month, as well as hospital treatment from professionals specialising in brain injury.

The court heard how on the night of the incident, someone in Smith’s vehicle had shouted – “you’ve been hitting on my missus” as the car drove past Mr Wright.

But the prosecution said Mr Wright had not been involved in any incidents prior to the assault.

Smith had previous convictions for assault, and was jailed for four years and nine months back in 2005 after admitting wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

But his defence barrister Virginia Hayton said he felt sorry for what had happened with Mr Wright.

Miss Hayton said: “The defendant is full of genuine remorse.

“He is horrified by the injuries he has caused the victim. That’s something he will have to live with, as he knows the victim and his family will have to live with.”


Sentencing him to three years behind bars, Judge Michael Byrne said Smith had targeted Mr Wright with a deliberate blow – the consequences of which had been “monumental” and “catastrophic”.

Judge Byrne told Smith: “This was a horrific attack, totally unprovoked and unjustified.

“Gratuitous street violence of the sort that took place on this night will not be tolerated, either by our communities or by the courts.

“Our communities look to the courts to make the streets of our towns and cities safe for people to go about their lawful business.”

Smith also pleaded guilty to a bail offence and has been locked up for three years.