Man's head split open after being attacked with walking stick in McDonald's

-Credit: (Image: Nottinghamshire Police)
-Credit: (Image: Nottinghamshire Police)


A homeless man split open the head of his victim with one sharp smack to the head with his walking stick. CCTV played at Nottingham Crown Court showed the victim sitting in a city centre McDonald's with a group of friends when all of a sudden he was attacked by John Williams.

In the short clip, the 45-year-old defendant rushes into the fast food takeaway, raises his stick and aims a hard and sudden blow to the victim’s scalp. Immediately blood is seen to pour from a wound, which later required seven stitches, and run down the startled victim’s face.

Four months later, while on bail for that offence, Williams then pulled out a knife and threatened a second man outside The Bell pub, in Angel Row. Jailing him for a total of 18 months, Judge Julie Warburton said: “You’d had a dispute with [the victim] earlier that day and later, when he was sitting in McDonald's, you rushed in and struck him with your walking stick sufficiently hard enough to split his head open.

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“He had absolutely no opportunity to avoid your actions and was immediately bleeding with the blood running down his face. He says he was startled and now he feels uneasy and less confident going out in public.

“Then, while you were on bail for that offence, you produced a multitool and threatened a different individual. I accept he was raising a chair in the direction of another homeless person outside The Bell but you can’t threaten someone with a bladed article. That is not the appropriate response.”

David Eager, prosecuting, said the first incident took place in the Milton Street branch of the fast food takeaway on the evening of December 9, last year. He said earlier that day, the defendant and the victim had an argument.

The prosecutor then played the CCTV of the attack which lasted a short few seconds. Mr Eager said: “Immediately after being struck, blood can be seen pouring from his head and down his face. The wound required seven stitches.

“He has made a victim impact statement and in it he says it took three weeks to heal and now he feels more anxious when out in public and less confident to go out anymore.

“On April 14, this year, the second offence happened in Angel Row and saw the defendant pull out a multitool penknife after that victim had picked up a chair outside The Bell. It is fair to say the blade was not produced.”

Williams, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and threatening another with a bladed article. He has 17 previous convictions for 25 offences including a past weapons offence and possession of an air weapon.

Emma Coverley, mitigating, said her client pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity to both offences and had been drinking at the time both of them happened. She said: “He has been living in a tent and has been homeless for a substantial period of time.

“He is alcohol-dependent and his personal circumstances are really quite dire. He gets himself in very difficult situations. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs, really.”