A brutal daylight attack has been caught on CCTV showing a man suddenly and violently attacking another man before police rushed to arrest him.
James Byrne has been jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to section 20 wounding following his arrest for the incident – which took place on June 21.
The 33-year-old was sentenced to jail at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday, when a judge said there was no excuse for the violence used by Byrne on his victim.
The court heard that Byrne, who is a rough sleeper, punched and kicked his victim after they allegedly threatened to set his tent on fire.
The Manchester Evening News also reports Byrne claimed the man he attacked had been selling drugs to “young girls.”
Camera footage of the incident shows the attacker and his victim walking side beside down a street before Byrne suddenly swings a punch.
Footage then shows Byrne punching his victim and throwing him to the ground where he then lands further punches and kicks on him while holding him down.
According to reports, the victim suffered a “significant cut” and swelling to his face – but refused to cooperate with investigators to uncover the full extent of his injuries.
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Defence lawyer, Carl Hargan, told the court that his client had been angered when the victim threatened to set his tent on fire as he knew another rough sleeper who had died following such an incident.
Mr Hargan also argued that his client had spent most of his life sleeping rough and had a history of drink and drug problems.
Judge Alan Conrad QC told Byrne while sentencing him: "You say that you had a grievance with him, but it didn't in any way justify what you had done."
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Superintendent Chris Hill, of GMP's City of Manchester Central division, said: "We are pleased with today's verdict as this assault from James Byrne was a ruthless and sustained attack which would have prolonged if it wasn’t for the swift arrival of our officers on patrol.
"We hope the public feel reassured by, not just our response to this incident, but also our response to their concerns about serious crime in this part of the City – the dedicated operation we now have in place was the reason this incident deflated as soon as it did and prevented even more serious injuries for the victim.
"The team are committed to ensuring that the levels of crime around this area continue to decrease and we will continue to ensure the resources that are deployed in dedication to this part of the City are maximised to protect the public from unwanted and unacceptable criminality in the area."
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