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Man spared jail for road rage GBH on victim's drive; COURT HEARD ATTACKER AFFECTED BY BRAIN INJURY.

Byline: STEVE BAGNALL Daily Post Reporter steve.bagnall@trinitymirror.com

A MAN who fractured another driver's eye socket in a frightening road rage attack was spared jail.

Richard Griffiths launched a barrage of punches to John Woolley's face and head on his drive, after following the victim to his home in Buckley on December 6, 2017.

The 29-year-old only stopped after a neighbour came out and intervened and Mr Woolley managed to jam his thumb into the defendant's eye socket forcing him away, Mold Crown Court heard.

Mr Woolley was left with two black eyes. One of the sockets was fractured and required painful surgery.

The court also heard he suffers headaches, hearing problems and nerve damage to an elbow.

Griffiths, of Penymynydd Road, Penyffordd, Flintshire, admitted a charge of grievous bodily harm GBH).

But the court heard a serious brain injury he suffered in a motorbike crash in 2016, which left him unable to speak or walk at first, had affected his personality.

Prosecutor David Mainstone said the incident started when the victim was driving home at 5.15pm, he exited the A55 at the Dobbshill roundabout and Griffiths' silver BMW cut in front of him.

Mr Woolley braked, flashed his lights and sounded his horn. A little further down the road, when Griffiths' car was alongside, he gestured at him to pull over, Mr Woolley told him to "get lost" but he followed him home.

On Mr Woolley's drive he "punched him several times to the face and forehead", said Mr Mainstone.

They ended up on the floor and Griffiths pushed Mr Woolley's jacket into his throat, where the victim was struggling to breathe, as he continued to hit him.

Griffiths had claimed he was acting in self defence, but CCTV footage showed he had started the attack.

Mr Woolley told the court he had feared for his life, was still suffering pain from the assault, said his home "no longer feels like a safe and personal sanctuary" and suffers flashbacks and nightmares.

"I have never been so scared in my life," he said.

Simon Blakebrough, defending, said Griffiths, a former Airbus worker, was sorry for his actions, but he now volunteers to help others with serious brain injuries.

Judge Niclas Parry accepted a neuropsychiatrist's report that said the brain injury suffered in the crash had been a factor in Griffiths' actions that day.

"You have rebuilt your life and have relearned to speak and walk," the judge said.

"The consequences of this collision is that you have suffered from mood changes and this was a major contributory factor," the judge said.

Get the latest North Wales news at www.dailypost.wales "Your issues continue to be addressed, but you have a long way to go."

Judge Parry said sending him to prison would be "disproportionate to your rehabilitation". He gave Griffiths a 10-month sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered him to pay Mr Woolley PS2,000 compensation and imposed a restraining order not to contact the victim or enter the road he lives on.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Aug 17, 2018
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