Dad repeatedly stamped on head of unconscious man in Sheffield street 'after red mist descended' following pub row

David Lindley
David Lindley

A dad-of-three repeatedly stamped on the head of an unconscious man he had kicked to the ground on a Sheffield street, leaving him fighting for life, a court heard.

Engineer David Lindley is facing a jail term after admitting causing grievous bodily harm to his victim, Mitchell Bower, who suffered a broken skull and eye socket, and bleeding on his brain.

The pair had rowed in the Merry Monk pub in Manor Park before the incident unfolded in front of shocked onlookers on Harborough Avenue - before the ‘red mist descended’ and Lindley began stamping on Bower’s head up to 12 times.

Lindley, aged 36 and of Stonecliffe Road, Manor Park, pleaded guilty on the basis he had been attacked first after being chased by Mr Bower and initially acted in self-defence before going ‘too far’ in the incident on June 22, 2014.

He also pleaded guilty to a second charge of production of cannabis after officers found 42 plants growing in his cellar while searching his property in relation to the GBH.

Louise Reevell, prosecuting, said that after a dispute between the two men in the Merry Monk pub, CCTV showed Bower leaving the pub 'effectively pursuing the defendant'.

She said the last thing recalled by the victim was seeing the defendant on Harborough Avenue.

But she said witnesses told police they had seen the incident unfold at about 11.45pm from their flat, seeing three men - including Lindley and Bower - on the street.

She said one man said he had seen 'the defendant kick the complainant in the stomach causing him to fall backwards on his side'.

She added: "The third man tried to pull the complainant upwards but the defendant kicked him in the face. He was laid out on the ground not moving.

"The defendant jumped off the ground and stamped on the head of the complainant. This was repeated on two further occasions.

"The complainant was left lying motionless in the middle of the ground."

Ms Reevell said another witness said Lindley had jumped on the victim 'between six and 12 times' and had been swearing at him as each stamp landed.

The victim suffered serious injuries from the attack, including fractures to his skull and left eye socket, as well as bleeding on the brain.

He was so badly hurt 'hospital staff asked to get his family to the hospital sooner rather than later' over fears he may die.

The victim said he still suffers problems with his vision and memory more than two years after the incident.

Ms Reevell said when interviewed by the police, Lindley said he had acted after 'the complainant was swinging punches at him and hit him in the back of the head'.

"He said he stuck up for himself by punching the complainant twice, but denied any kicking or stamping on the complainant," she said.

John Boumphrey, defending Lindley, said his client has had difficulty accepting he had stamped on Mr Bower's head.

"He still can't believe that he did that but he accepts that he must have," he said.

Mr Boumphrey said tests on the victim had indicated he had traces of cocaine in his system, as well as being two-and-a-half times over the drink-driving limit.

He said Lindley had admitted to police he had been involved in a fight with the other man and with the exception of the details about the stamping, had made full admissions.

"He gives a full account that seems to be consistent with everything everybody else sees apart from in relation to the kicking and the stamping," he said.

"The red mist may have descended and he has no recollection of that."

He said the defendant was a family man and a father of three who has had to cancel his planned wedding in the Dominican Republic due to the criminal proceedings.

Mr Boumphrey said the defendant had been attacked first and fought back in 'exceptional circumstances' against a 'pumped up' opponent.

Judge Recorder Smith said he would sentence Lindley next week due to the unusual nature of the case requiring him to have time to consider his decision.