A violent Sheffield thug who walked free after stamping on his unconscious victim’s head has been jailed by judges at the second time of asking.
Father-of-three David Lindley, aged 36, of Stonecliffe Road, Manor Park, was given a two-year suspended jail term at Sheffield Crown Court on September 19.
But three senior judges at London’s Appeal Court ruled that was far too soft – and locked him up for seven years instead.
The case was referred to the Appeal Court by Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC who argued Lindley had to be jailed.
Lindley’s victim Mitchell Bower was left with a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain, the court heard.
They had both been drinking in the Merry Monk pub, in Manor Park, on June 22 2014, Lady Justice Macur said.
There was an ‘altercation’ between the two men and, after they left, CCTV footage showed Mr Bower following Lindley.
Lindley, an engineer, laid into his victim, including ‘kicking and stamping’ on him between six and 12 times while he was lying unconscious on the ground.
Mr Bower suffered ‘serious’ injuries, including a fractured skull and multiple fractures to the face including to his left eye socket.
He almost died from the bleed on his brain and has since suffered from depression, said the judge.
He still slurs his words, struggles to chew and has short-term memory problems. Nerve damage to his eye causes him to twitch and blink.
When police searched Lindley’s property they found 42 small cannabis plants.
He was handed the suspended sentence after he admitted cannabis production and causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Bower with intent.
Lindley said it was a case of self defence gone too far and that he had been provoked.
He had drunk several pints and was ‘six or seven’ on a scale of one to ten of drunkenness.
Suspending his sentence, the Crown Court judge pointed to his good character and guilty pleas.
Lindley was described as a ‘valued’ member of the community and a ‘family man’.
John Boumphrey, for Lindley, said there was provocation and a lack of pre-meditation.
He described Lindley as a ‘pillar of the community’ and said it was an ‘isolated’ incident of violence.
Lady Justice Macur described the suspended sentence as ‘unorthodox’.
Mr Bower’s injuries were ‘serious’ and Lindley had used his shod foot as a weapon.
She pointed to the ongoing impact on the victim and Lindley having been drunk at the time.
She agreed it was an ‘isolated’ offence and gave Lindley credit for his guilty plea.
The judge, who was sitting with Mr Justice Morris and Judge Jeremy Carey, also noted the long delay between the attack and the sentence.
But she ruled the suspended sentence ‘unduly lenient’ and imposed a seven-year jail term.
Lindley was ordered to surrender to custody.