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Teenager Billy Allan admits Melrosegate street attack
A TEENAGER whose single punch left a man fighting for his life with “extensive brain damage” has pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.
Tony Lansbury, 51, was walking home along Melrosegate, Tang Hall, early on September 5, when William Wilson Allan, known as Billy Allan, attacked him.
The older man was found unconscious in the street and was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary while police launched a manhunt for the attacker.
He lay in a coma for some time and needed major surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain before doctors could be sure he would live. He is still in hospital and expected to remain there for some time to come.
Allan, 18, of Kempton Close in Acomb, pleaded guilty to grievious bodily harm at a preliminary hearing before York Crown Court yesterday, and his case was adjourned for sentence.
Prosecutor Nick Adlington said: “This is a difficult case where the complainant has suffered extensive brain damage,” he said.
He wanted the sentencing judge to have as much information as possible about the long-term consequences of Allan’s punch and said he would present medical reports to the court after doctors treating Mr Lansbury meet later this week.
The prosecution accepted Allan’s plea on the basis the teenager did not intend to cause Mr Lansbury grievous bodily harm because CCTV of the attack showed he only hit him once.
He was originally charged with causing grievious bodily harm with intent. The maximum sentence Allan can receive now is five years’ imprisonment, minus a discount for pleading guilty at an early stage of the court case.
Allan was released on bail on condition he observes a curfew from 7pm to 7am every night, stays out of a certain area and doesn’t contact prosecution witnesses. He will return to court for sentencing on October 21 when the judge will also read a pre-sentence report from the probation service on him.
Mr Lansbury was recently transferred to York Hospital, so he could be nearer his family.
His sister Kim Farrar said: “I’m just glad he’s pleaded guilty to it, and held his hands up. If he hadn’t, he would have had to go before a jury and possibly would have gotten away with it.”
Allan is due to be sentenced on October 21, and Mrs Farrar said she expected to be in court that day too.
She said: “We’re just concentrating on getting Tony better now. He doesn’t remember what happened, so we’re not going to tell him.”
She said last week: “He’s still very tired but staying conscious and he knows who we are. It’s going to be a long and slow process, and we still don’t know how much damage has been done.”