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JAILED: Thug who punched woman outside nightclub causing her to black out

Steven Rooney, from Church, also sexually assaulted a woman in a separate incident

Steven Christopher Rooney

A thug who punched a woman outside an Accrington nightclub causing ‘very nasty injuries’ has been jailed.

Steven Christopher Rooney landed a ‘powerful blow’ on the victim outside Voodoo Lounge following an argument where she had ‘lashed out at him first’, a court heard.

In a separate incident the 22-year-old also sexually assaulted a woman.

Rooney, of Somerset Grove, Church, pleaded guilty at Burnley Crown Court to ABH and sexual assault and was jailed for 12 months.

The former Lancashire County Council apprentice was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register and given a restraining order, both lasting 10 years.

Jacob Dyer, prosecuting, told the court how Rooney had got into an argument with a woman at the Voodoo Lounge ‘about something fairly trivial’ and he was ‘removed from the bar’.

The court heard how the argument continued outside and the woman tried to slap him and ‘lashed out at him’.

Mr Dyer said Rooney punched her and that it was ‘certainly a powerful blow’ causing her to black out on the floor. The victim also lost a tooth and was bleeding from a ‘nasty cut to her lip’.

She was later taken to A&E and was found to have suffered fractures to two other teeth.

The court heard how Rooney was later arrested and provided a prepared statement accepting that he had punched the victim, but claimed it was in self-defence after she ‘lashed out at him first’.

Mr Dyer told the court that in a separate incident Rooney sexually assaulted a woman.

In respect of the ABH, Gerard Doran, defending, told the court: “[Rooney] accepts that he had punched her and it must be, judging by the effects upon her, that it was excessive in the circumstances.

"He is from a supportive family and a family that will provide him with support going forward.”

Mr Doran said Rooney works as a welder and assembler for a firm in Altham and was previously an apprentice civil engineer with Lancashire County Council but lost the job as a result of the court proceedings.

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson said: “There can be no blame of [the victim]. At the end of the day you hit her disproportionately and caused a very, very nasty injury to her mouth.

"I’m afraid an immediate custodial sentence must follow for these serious offences.”

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