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Man deemed a risk to the public jailed for vicious assault

By George Jackson

A man from Londonderry who has a propensity for violence and who has been assessed as a dangerous risk to members of the public, has been jailed for eight years and four months.

Patrick Nixon (31), from Ballymagroarty, was convicted by a jury last year of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on his victim.

He punched and kicked the man unconscious in a vicious and frenzied attack outside a mobile shop in the Ballymagroarty area of the city on July 18, 2015.

Nixon's victim received 25 stitches and had to have glue applied to the facial injuries he sustained in the attack.

"This was a high culpability frenzied attack, in which you deliberately used violence, including kicking this man in the face," said Judge Philip Babington.

"This vicious assault lasted between two and three minutes and you left your victim bleeding profusely and unconscious. You only stopped the assault on him when you were pulled away by your brother."

Jailing Nixon at the Crown Court in Derry yesterday, the judge said in July 2007 Nixon was jailed at Letterkenny Circuit Court for an aggravated burglary, during which he threatened two women and a child with a knife, before stealing €250 from them.

At the Crown Court in Derry in April 2010, Nixon was convicted of stabbing a man in the stomach, causing a perforation of that victim's bowel.

In October 2014, he was convicted at Peterhead Court in Scotland of leaving another man in a critical condition after assaulting him.

Judge Babington said when Nixon attacked the victim outside the mobile shop in Ballymagroarty almost three years ago, he was still under supervision for the incident in Peterhead.

The judge said in the Ballymagroarty incident, Nixon attacked his victim - who had earlier called at his home - from behind. He struck him several times on the head and then kicked him in the face as the victim lay on the ground, knocking him unconscious.

A woman who worked in the mobile shop and who witnessed the frenzied attack, said it lasted for two to three minutes. In her evidence at Nixon's trial last year, the witness said she was so frightened by what she had witnessed, that she froze in disbelief.

The shop employee, who knew both Nixon and the victim, said blood was pouring out of the victim's injuries, particularly from his mouth, where Nixon had aimed a kick.

Nixon was arrested by the police and interviewed two weeks later. His only defence at the time was that although he knew the victim had been assaulted, he claimed another man had carried out the attack.

Judge Babington said among Nixon's previous convictions, was a suspended sentence imposed in January 2015, for threatening to kill a taxi driver and for threatening to cause criminal damage to a taxi office.

He said Nixon breached that suspended sentence when he attacked his victim outside the mobile shop six months later.

Judge Babington said the pre-sentence report also stated that Nixon presented a high risk of violent re-offending over the next two years. He said quite clearly Nixon readily resorted to violence and had already inflicted serious harm on a number of innocent victims.

He said Nixon had also failed three drugs tests in jail within the last 12 months. He said he was impulsive, lacked self control and regularly used violence.

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