A mother-of-two who sustained a fractured cheekbone and black eye when she was battered by a disabled man has shared horrifying pictures of her injuries.
Lauren Stockman, in her 30s, was struck repeatedly on the head with the metal crutch by 58-year-old James Smith after an argument in the Fernhurst pub, Blackburn, Lancashire.
Smith walked free from court on a suspended sentence this week, a punishment that has caused anger among Ms Stockman’s friend.
Lauren Stockman, in her 30s, sustained a fractured cheekbone and black eye after the attack in Fernhurst pub, Blackburn, Lancashire. She has shared horrifying pictures of her injuries
Miss Stockman and her partner Andrew Smith were attacked in the pub after a woman that James Smith was with said to Mr Smith ‘What are you looking at?’
Miss Stockman, who was attacked in the pub last November, shared the images on social media with the caption: ‘Not pretty but hey! This could have been a lot worse. Why in God’s name would anyone think this is ok.’ (Pictured: Miss Stockman before she was injured)
Horrifying images show Miss Stockman with blackened skin and cuts across her cheek while the area around her eye is black and swollen.
Sharing the images last November, when the attack happened, she said: ‘Not pretty but hey! This could have been a lot worse. Why in God’s name would anyone think this is okay?
‘Some guy hit me with a crutch and broke my eye socket, got muscle damage in my neck and blurred vision in my eye.’
Smith fled after the attack but was arrested when CCTV pictures of him wielding the stick at Miss Stockman were circulated on social media.
The broken walking stick was later found dumped outside the pub.
After pleading guilty to assaulting Miss Stockman causing actual bodily harm and assaulting her boyfriend Andrew Smith on November 23 last year, at Preston Crown Court he was sentenced.
James Smith, 58, was sentenced to eight years in jail. CCTV footage (Shown above) was circulated on social media of the attack. This later led to Smith’s arrest for the attack
Smith sentenced at Preston Crown Court to eight months in jail, suspended for a year, and has been banned from leaving his home between 9pm and 6am every night. He has also been forbidden from visiting the pub.
Prosecutor Miss Hanifa Patel said: ‘While Miss Stockman and her boyfriend were drinking and chatting, another group entered at 8:30pm.
‘They walked up to the bar and Miss Stockman’s partner looked at one member of the group, and a female member of the group said: “what are you looking at?”
‘What took place was a verbal altercation between the two women and her partner.
‘Miss Stockman did tell the woman to be quiet and leave them alone but the group said: “Shut up or I’ll twat you”.
‘She then felt something knock on the side of her head and her hair. She put her hand up immediately to her face and noticed there was blood.
‘Miss Stockman’s partner put his hand out so the stick hit his arm.’
Miss Stockman also said that after the attack she had blurred vision in one eye, leading doctors to fear that she had sustained a fracture to her eye socket
A blackmark is seen across Miss Stockman’s face between both her eyes from when she was struck over the face with the metal walking stick
The prosecutor added: ‘The defendant tried to hit them three times and on the third time the stick broke in two and part of it fell to the floor.
‘Mr Smith went out and followed the defendant, and kept him under observation.
‘The police were called straight away, a taxi arrived to pick him up. The defendant was then eventually identified and arrested.
‘Miss Stockman’s eye was extremely swollen, doctors were concerned she might have sustained a fracture to her eye socket because of blurred vision.
‘The defendant is 58 years old his last conviction was in 1986 for GBH.’
After sentencing, Judge Simon Medland told Smith that his attack had ’caused Miss Stockman significant problems in terms of pain suffered, injuries and loss of confidence. What on earth was going through your mind I am at a loss to know, as are you.’
In a statement Andrew Smith said: ‘We were both sat on our bar stools the whole time and did not show any aggression.’
The attacker’s defence lawyer, Neil Howard, said: ‘There was some verbal altercation between Mr Smith and the females but none between him and Mr James Smith.
‘The police have asked and the probation have asked and after a great deal of reflection and soul searching he is at a complete loss as to why he responded so aggressively.
‘He says that he wasn’t particularly intoxicated, possibly his drink was spiked – but there is no proof of that. It was a particularly emotional interview when the footage was put to him.
‘It shocked him to the core, he made a prompt admission in interview and continued in that vein. He is wracked with remorse and regret.’
The shocking attack unfolded in the Fernhurst pub in Blackburn, Lancashire
Sentencing Judge Simon Medland QC told Smith: ‘For no reason whatsoever you involved yourself in an argument that other people were having.
‘You raised your stick and held it like a baseball bat. You struck her with it three times.
‘This has caused her significant problems in terms of pain suffered, injuries and loss of confidence. What on earth was going through your mind I am at a loss to know, as are you.’