Gentle giant Phil will never walk or talk again

Serious GBH at Quest nightclub.17/10/10
Serious GBH at Quest nightclub.17/10/10
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A ‘GENTLE giant’ will never be able to walk or talk again after he was the victim of a ferocius unprovoked attack of by a violent drunk, a court heard.

Adam Smith, 25, punched Phillip Snowden at least eight times on the dance floor at Mustang Sally’s nightclub, on Westgate, on October 16 last year before kicking him in the face.

Mr Snowden, 33, who grew up in Normanton, was left with permanent brain damage and a fractured spine, and now receives 24-hour specialist care.

Leeds Crown Court was told that rugby player Smith, was covered in blood from a fight earlier in the night.

Prosecutor Michael Smith said: “The kick was described as like a goalkeeper trying to kick a football over the halfway line.”

The court heard Smith had a history of drink-fuelled violence dating back to his school days and had been given a caution for knocking a man unconscious at the same nightclub a year before.

Robin Frieze, mitigating, said his client was well-regarded by others, but became violent when he was drinking.

Mr Frieze said: “A day doesn’t go by when he doesn’t sit and think about what he has done to Mr Snowden.”

Smith, of Cobblers Lane, Pontefract, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent at an earlier hearing.

Sentencing Smith to nine years and four months, Judge Chris Batty said: “He (Mr Snowden) had such a severe head injury and fracture of his spine that he will never walk again, he will never talk again, he will never be able to share any time with his wife in any meaningful way because of you.”

Speaking after the hearing on Friday, Mr Snowden’s father Frank Snowden described his 6ft 11ins son as a “gentle giant”.

Det Supt Paul Taylor, paid tribute to the Snowden family for the “great dignity” they had shown throughout the investigation and court case.