A disabled Oswaldtwistle man was viciously bottled by a thug high on a cocktail of drink and drugs, a court heard.
Stephen Pilkington, who is 42, was set upon by Damion Hastie and knocked unconscious as he walked past a takeaway on Union Road on June 7.
Hastie, who had been given a suspended prison term just five days before for two assaults, left his victim scared to go out, nervous of strangers and unable to sleep. Mr Pilkington had previously been picked on because of his vulnerability, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Hastie, aged 20 from Church, admitted wounding and was sent to jail for a total of three years. He had nine previous convictions.
Judge Beverley Lunt slammed his actions as cowardly and told the defendant he had affected Mr Pilkington’s life. She continued: "He’s never going to be independent but at least he could walk down the road and have a happy little walk. He’s not doing that anymore. He now lives in fear." The judge added:"There is no doubt in my mind you are a dangerous offender."
Sara Dodd, prosecuting, said Mr Pilkington, who was unable to live independently and was almost blind in one eye, was well known and well liked in Oswaldtwistle. He had been a regular in local pubs and had often been seen walking up and down the main street.
That was what he was doing, just before 8pm, on the night he was attacked. As he approached the takeaway, the defendant went towards him and hit him on the back of the head with a bottle.
Miss Dodd said he was knocked to the ground, his glasses fell off and passers-by went to his aid.
A neighbour took him back to his mother’s and he was taken to hospital for treatment to a gash to the head. A witness who had known the victim for 20 years saw Hastie holding a smashed vodka bottle, his eyes bulging and acting in a bizarre manner.
He would say Hastie ran down the road, took up position in the doorway of the takeaway and as the victim passed, he began to talk to him.
As Mr Pilkington walked away, the defendant hit him with the smashed bottle. Hastie ran off and Mr Pilkington was left on the ground, bleeding. He was tended to by locals. The victim suffered a nasty wound, a sore jaw and grazes.
The prosecutor said Mr Pilkington’s mother Sylvia told police he had since been frightened to go out again but she was hoping he would get back to his old self.
Martin Hackett, for Hastie, said the offence was disgraceful. He had been in drink and taken drugs but it was no excuse.
The barrister added:"He was clearly a vulnerable victim although the defendant did not realise that in his drunken and drugged state. On his release he is determined not to drink to excess.
"He is determined not to come back before the courts for any offences of violence."