Car park attacker jailed for four years

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An unemployed man who left a builder with massive injuries after he complained children had vandalised his car was yesterday jailed for four years.

Judge David Lynch told Richard Mellor, 32: "Considerable force was required to break nearly every bone in his face, from the base of his skull down to his teeth. It was necessary to rebuild his face by inserting 11 metal plates.

"And one of the fractured bones damaged an optic nerve, permanently blinding him in one eye."

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Barry Hayes, 50, still suffered pain, following the attack in August 1994. A jury found Mellor guilty a week ago of causing grievous bodily harm. They acquitted him of the more serious charge of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Yesterday Mellor, a father-of-four, stood with eyes closed as the judge added: "Parliament has set a maximum sentence for grievous bodily harm of five years. This case comes really close to the most serious in that category."

During the five-day trial, the court heard how Mr Hayes found his BMW car had been scratched while he was in the Heath public house in south Liverpool. He reprimanded a group of children, including the defendant's seven-year-old son.

When Mr Hayes drove away, the children shouted abuse at him but ran off when he stopped and got out.

Mellor later returned with the boy, who had left his bicycle in the car park. He attacked Mr Hayes, punching him and kicking him about the head, causing terrible injuries.

Mellor, of Verney Crescent, Garston, Liverpool, claimed Mr Hayes threw the first punch, but the judge said: "I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Mr Hayes did not attack you."

After the hearing, Mellor's solicitor said that an appeal against the severity of the sentence would be considered.