Thug who blinded student gets off with a reprimand: So what DOES it take to be jailed for assault
Matthew Noblett, 20, from Chorley, Lancashire, was hit outside a pubHe needed 170 stitches in his right eyeball to stop it collapsingHe will never regain vision in the eye and is now registered disabledNoblett said his 16-year-old attacker should have gone to court
23:29 GMT, 25 December 2012
The father of a student blinded in one eye in an unprovoked attack by a teenager yesterday condemned police for letting him go with just a telling-off.
The latest shocking example of ‘soft justice’ occurred after Matthew Noblett, 20, intervened to protect a female friend who was being verbally abused by a gang of teens.
One lashed out at him, resulting in horrific injuries which caused his right eyeball to deflate. Despite a five-hour operation involving 170 stitches, his sight could not be restored, and he may lose the eyeball altogether.
Furious: Matthew Noblett was blinded in his right eye during the attack but the perpetrator was let off with a caution
But because police and doctors were
initially unaware of the severity of Matthew’s injuries, his 16-year-old
attacker was let off with a reprimand – a youth caution which means he
wasn’t even given a criminal record.
The let-off emerged days after figures
revealed that more than 500,000 criminals have been given cautions for
serious crimes – including almost 8,000 violent assaults – in the past
That is despite the Lord Chief
Justice, Director of Public Prosecutions and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate
of Constabulary all expressing concern at the number of out-of-court
penalties being issued by police.
As Matthew told yesterday how the assault had ruined his life, his landscape gardener father Joseph, 45, said he felt betrayed.
Bloodied: Matthew said police initially thought he only suffered cuts and bruises in the attack
‘I’ve got no respect for what the
police have done. I got a 60 fine for having the spacing on my private
registration plate wrong.
'Yet this lad has left my son blind in one eye
and gets off scot-free. Where’s the justice in that Matthew will now be
affected for the rest of his life.’
Matthew, who is studying environmental
management at university in Preston, was attacked last August after
going for drinks with friends.
‘As we got out on to the street we
noticed around 50 teens,’ he said.
‘One started shouting abuse to my
friend’s girlfriend and I quietly told him to “Leave her alone”.
‘He carried on being aggressive, so I
told him to “leave it”. He squared up to me, screaming in my face and
then I felt an almighty blow to my eyebrow.’
Matthew was taken to hospital where
his injuries – at first thought to be merely a cut eyebrow – were
He said: ‘I didn’t think it was anything serious,
especially when I was sent home.’
The next day, his doctor covered his
left eye and asked him to read from a board. ‘I said “What board” and
he looked into my eye and said, “Oh dear”.
Dad and I broke down. I’d
always said going blind would be the worst thing.
Matthew, who lives in
Coppull, Lancashire, with his father, mother Louise and sister Kate, 16,
added: ‘I’m shaking with rage that more isn’t being done to get justice
in this matter.’
A police spokesman said: ‘We are aware
that (Matthew’s) eyesight has since begun to deteriorate, and we are
reviewing the case with the CPS.’
Deflated: Doctors discovered a haemorrhage in Matthew's eye and a tear meant it had no pressure and was deflating
Surgery: Matthew needed 170 stitches in his eye to stop it deflating
Matthew was hit outside The Swan With Two Necks Pub in Chorley (pictured) which has now closed