Holyhead man left victim ‘absolutely covered in blood’ after assault

A MAN from Holyhead was jailed after an “unprovoked attack” in a social club toilet on the same person he had also assaulted more than a decade earlier.

Graham Thomas, 66, of Maes-Yr-Ysgol, was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment at Caernarfon Crown Court today (January 10).

He had pleaded guilty, on November 15, 2022, to unlawful wounding and inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent, having entered a not guilty plea on June 13.

Prosecuting, Anna Price told the court of how, on December 18, 2021, Alun Pritchard had spent the evening out in Holyhead, before ending up in the Holyhead Railway Club on Victoria Terrace.

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Thomas was also there, and the two had known each for several years, but due to an incident in 2008, where he assaulted Pritchard, they “tended to keep away from each other”.

Just after midnight, as people were leaving, Pritchard decided to go to the toilet, having had “about six pints to drink”.

Initially, there was nobody else in there, but he soon heard someone walk in.

After Pritchard said hello to him, Thomas’ response was to punch him in his right eye, causing blood to pour down his face.

Thomas said to Pritchard: “It’s about the money,” then walked out, which Pritchard believed to be in reference to the compensation Thomas had to pay the 2008 for assault.

The manager at the club saw Pritchard come out of the toilets, and was shocked by the state he was in, saying he was “absolutely covered in blood”, with a large cut to his forehead.

He was admitted to Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, having also suffered a broken tooth and sustained a scar as a result of the assault.

Thomas was arrested on December 20; when interviewed, he said he had been in the club that night, but when asked if he followed Pritchard, he replied “no comment”.

He then proceeded to answer “no comment” to all further questions.

The court heard that, in August, Thomas claimed he was acting in self-defence, while in an interview with his probation officer, he blamed Pritchard for starting the incident.

A victim statement provided by Pritchard said the attack left him “shocked” and wary of turning his back on people, adding that there had been no hostility that night.

Since the attack, he had not been sleeping as well as he used to, while his family had noticed a change in him, including that he often seems “withdrawn”.

He added that he was finding it “difficult to get back to the old me”.

Thomas had seven previous convictions for 10 offences between 1977 and 2008.

Of these 10 offences, seven involved offences against the person, while he was sentenced to prison in 1978 for an offence involving wounding.

Defending, Simon Rogers encouraged a suspended sentence to be issued to Thomas.

He added that Thomas has not re-offended in the 13 months since the incident, provides for his family, and suffered the loss of grandson when he was just eight weeks old.

Thomas’ and Pritchard’s children had also previously been in a relationship with each other, but Rogers said that “a falling-out” between them led to the assault in 2008.

Rogers said: “This was a single blow. It was a short-lived assault.

“It was not premeditated, and regrettably, it’s a case where the defendant saw the complainant in the toilet and then lost his temper.

“They’d seen each other in the years that have followed (the 2008 assault) and there had been no difficulty between them.

“This defendant has not (since) reoffended, neither has there been any difficulty between parties. He is genuinely remorseful for his behaviour.”

Rogers said that Thomas told him this morning that he “bitterly regrets what happened”, and that he has put his family “through hell over the last 12 months” because of his actions that night.

He described Thomas as a “loving family man with a social conscience”, and someone who helped vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A reference in support of Thomas described him as “the mainstay for the whole family”.

It added: “Although he himself was grieving and suffering emotionally (following his grandson’s death), he became a tower of strength at his family’s hour of need.”

His daughter referenced the support he provides her, saying Thomas cares for her children three days a week while she is at work.

Thomas is also due to have an operation, which has been cancelled and not yet rearranged, due to a medical condition causing him some discomfort.

Sentencing, Recorder Wyn Lloyd-Jones said he had no choice but to impose an immediate custodial sentence.

Thomas must also comply with a four-year restraining order against Pritchard, and pay a victim surcharge of £156.

Lloyd-Jones said: “It saddens me to have to sentence someone of your age for behaviour of this kind.

“I’m perfectly satisfied that you still harboured resentment towards the victim, hence the words you used. I cant emphasise enough; it’s a very nasty wound.

“The wound was deep, it needed 12 stitches, and it’s clear from the photographs taken about a year later that it’s perfectly obvious on his face where that injury was suffered, and it’s still obvious.

“It’s also clear that the offence has had a significant effect on the victim. It’s clearly affected his confidence, and that’s not surprising.

“You’ve not learnt your lessons. It’s clear that there are very positive aspects to your character, but it’s doubtful that those who provided each and every one of those references are aware of the details of your past.

“I find it very difficult to accept that you are, in fact, remorseful for what you did. There’s no dispute that this offence is so serious that only a prison sentence is appropriate.”

North Wales Chronicle | Anglesey