Drunken thug who attacked disabled 'father figure' with his own walking stick and pint glass has jail term slashed

Matthew Fairhurst
Matthew Fairhurst

A drunken thug who attacked his disabled 'father figure' with his own walking stick and a pint glass has had his jail term slashed by top judges.

Matthew Fairhurst, 24, of Blackhills Terrace, Horden, had known his victim for many years as he had been in a long-term relationship with Fairhurst's mother.

But that did not stop him carrying out a 'shocking' attack on the disabled, mid-40s man who walks with a stick and has epilepsy and asthma.

Fairhurst became 'extremely argumentative and aggressive' towards his victim on December 4, 2014, Judge Paul Batty QC told London's Appeal Court.

He started shouting and screaming at him before punching him repeatedly in the face, grabbing him round the neck and saying: "I have waited a long time to do this."

He then hit him in the face with a pint glass and picked up the victim's own walking stick and struck him several times with it before it broke.

The victim, who feared he was 'going to be killed', also suffered 'psychological damage', said Judge Batty.

He said he had always considered himself a 'father figure' to Fairhurst who had 'shattered my life'.

But he said he still loved Fairhurst, regardless of what he had done.

Fairhurst admitted wounding with intent at Durham Crown Court on April 30 last year and was caged for 12 and a half years.

Jonathan Walker, his barrister, today argued that the jail term was far too tough.

He agreed it was an 'extremely ugly offence' but described it as 'spontaneous'.

Fairhust had 'shown remorse' and had no relevant previous convictions.

Judge Batty, sitting with Lord Justice McCombe and Mr Justice Blake, said Fairhurst was 'intoxicated and on drugs' when he carried out the 'sustained assault' on a 'vulnerable' man.

But he ruled that that 12 and a half years was 'excessive' and reduced the sentence to 10 and a half years.