Officer kicked like a football

Andrew McCrory
Andrew McCrory
Have your say

TWO brothers were jailed after repeatedly kicking the head of an police officer “like a football” during a ferocious beating in a Blackpool bar.

Off-duty officer Asuf Hussain suffered multiple fractures to his eye socket, nose and cheekbone as well as bruising to his brain.

Darren McCrory

Darren McCrory

The 47-year-old was attacked by Andrew and Darren McCrory after getting into an argument with the brothers in the Reflex bar on South Promenade.

The brothers, of Hardman Street, Blackpool were today both waking up behind bars after being jailed for the vicious attack.

Preston Crown Court was told the attack was captured on CCTV inside the bar on July 23, last year.

Craig Cleminson, prosecuting said: “The footage shows him (Mr Hussain) being attacked by Darren who punched him to the ground.

“He then kicked him in the head a number of times, witnesses said it was with force like kicking a football.

“At no time did Mr Hussain fight back.

“Darren stepped back and Mr Hussain was lying motionless and unconscious.”

The court heard how the McCrory brothers were drinking with their mother to comfort her over her separation from her husband.

Mr Hussain, who is an officer with Greater Manchester Police was visiting the resort with a police colleague when the assault took place.

The pair downed spirits before going out to the Reflex Bar on south Promenade with their mother.

They became involved in an argument with Mr Hussain who was said to have been making unwanted advances towards their mother, Heidi Champion.

She punched Mr Hussain to the face knocking his glasses on to the bar and later threw a drink over him.

Later Mr Hussain’s friend returned to see him on the floor with the two brothers stood over him.

Both brothers kicked the stricken police officer until eventually door staff ran over to intervene.

Mr Hussain was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where he was kept for two days under observation. He is understood to have made a “good recovery”.

The McCrory brothers were arrested at the scene and both later pleaded guilty to one charge of causing grievous bodily harm.

When questioned Andrew McCrory, 23, admitted he went to assault Mr Hussain but not to cause him any harm.

His brother Darren, 22, admitted to kicking Mr Hussain so “he didn’t get back up.”

Their defence barristers told Preston Crown Court “emotions were running high” in the family because of their domestic situation.

Ciaran Rankin, defending Andrew McCrory said: “He accepts what he has done. They took the mother out and ended up drinking more than they probably would have done.

“Mr Hussain approached Miss Champion and it must have been obvious his advances were not required.

“This was a determined bid to get attention.

“Miss Champion threw some beer to cool him down, this was a very unhappy state of affairs.

“There is a very strong family bond and although supportive, they are horrified by this behaviour.”

Andrew and Darren McCrory, who had no previous convictions, were each jailed for 40 months.

Judge Anthony Russell QC told the brothers: “It is sad to see two young men standing in the dock with no previous convictions having pleaded guilty to this serious offence.

“It occurred in circumstances, I regret to say, which are all too familiar when people go out and drink too much and become involved in altercations.

“This can often be about something trivial which ends up out of control and results in extreme violence.

“Each of you was involved in kicking this man while he was on the ground.

“Fortunately, although he suffered serious injuries, these were not life threatening.

“He has not made a witness statement nor is he seeking compensation, I see this as an indication he has managed to make a good recovery.

“I’m aware you have both pleaded guilty and you both not only possessed good characters, but positively good characters.

“I also accept the circumstances you were in were very difficult and drink played its part causing you to behave in a way you have not shown you were likely to behave.”

Heidi Champion pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to assault and was sentenced to a 12-month community order with supervision.