A groom-to-be who nearly died on his stag do feels ‘let down with the justice system’ after his attacker walked free.
Lee Burns, 41, had been to the Grand National with a group of friends when he was punched outside a bar in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, by Scott Sutcliffe, 33.
He was left with a fractured skull and two bleeds on the brain from the attack, which happened on April 16, 2023, just weeks before he was to marry Sara, 38.
Lee had an operation, where surgeons removed part of his skull and brain to stop the bleeds and ease pressure from swelling and was placed in an induced coma.
Sutcliffe pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm or wounding without intent when he appeared at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on December 12.
He was then sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for two years at Preston Crown Court on January 26.
Sutcliffe was also ordered to abide by an electronically monitored curfew, daily from 9pm to 6am, until April 30 this year and pay Lee £14,000 compensation.
In a statement released with his wife Sara, the dad-of-three said: ‘We feel robbed, upset, angry and let down with the justice system. But also we feel relief from not having the court case hanging over us – we have gone through many emotions in the last week all which was to be expected.
‘What we have decided is that last year has took away so much of our happiness, it has had huge impact on our children. Now it’s time to start afresh and start making the most of lives together.’
Lee underwent further surgery to have a titanium plate fitted in his skull last year but the couple say he still has ‘life long injuries’ and could ‘face more issues’ in the future.
They added: ‘Our lives have changed forever and we don’t have a time machine to go back. But what we do have is each other to move forward and that could of been so different.
‘The life long effects for victims can be so different. Even though they look okay in their recovery, that’s not always the case – as it is with Lee. Yes he looks okay and yes he walks and talks but cognitively, is his brain okay?
‘The answer is sadly no and further assessments we have had with professionals have proven he has life long injuries.’
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