Accountant battered man he found kissing his wife

Paul Murphy
Paul Murphy

An accountant who caught his teacher wife kissing another man in a Wigan nightclub flew into a jealous rage and launched a vicious attack, a court heard.

Paul Murphy’s first blow knocked him to the floor and he then repeatedly punched him until bouncers dragged him off his victim, semi-professional singer Andrew Crawford.

You gave him no chance. This was not a fair fight, you attacked him and continued in it. Without doubt you were drunk yourself having spent the previous 12 hours drinking

David Turner QC

Sentencing him Recorder David Turner, QC, said that the victim and Murphy’s wife had been mutually attracted to each other and kissed each other.

“That was foolish behaviour by both of them. You saw those stolen kisses and in a jealous rage you punched him to the ground and continued to punch him until separated by door staff.

“You gave him no chance. This was not a fair fight, you attacked him and continued in it. Without doubt you were drunk yourself having spent the previous 12 hours drinking.

“This was a vicious and sustained attack and you gave him no chance to defend himself. He describes receiving a massive blow to his face. Horrific injuries to his face are shown in photographs,” said the judge.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the victim, who works as a joiner, lost two teeth and had other teeth pushed back. Both lips were lacerated and needed 20 stitches, his nose was broken and had to be repaired under general anaesthetic and his eye socket was fractured.

Simon Berkson, prosecuting, said that the incident happened at 2.20am on September 13 last year downstairs in the Ibiza Bar in Wigan. 28-year-old Murphy was upstairs but when he came down the stairs he saw his wife Victoria kissing Mr Crawford.

“That enraged him and he came down the stairs and proceeded to punch the complainant to the face,” he said.

Murphy went home and after discussing events with his wife came to the conclusion that he had acted badly and put a message on Facebook apologising and asking the victim to get in touch by phone or in person.

When arrested and interviewed Murphy said he punched the other man as “I just had to stop it. I was just so angry, I was really really angry. Asked if he had intended to hurt him he said he had but had not meant to inflict so many blows or such injuries, said Mr Berkson.

In an impact statement the victim said he had been unable to carry out his work as a joiner for seven weeks, costing him £3,000 in wages and was still recovering from the attack.

He was having to pay £4,000 to have two tooth implants and had been unable to sing with his local rock band because of his injuries.

Murphy, of Anthorn Road, Goose Green, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Recorder Turner sentenced him to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months and ordered him to pay his victim £8,000 in compensation within six months.

He pointed out that Mr Crawford had suffered injuries and painful and expensive dental work and likely to have been left with scarring around his mouth.

“You have had a lucky escape. I take the view we are all entitled to one mistake in life. You made a big mistake but I don’t want it to ruin your life and the life of your wife. Put it behind you.”

Michael Hayton, QC, defending, said that Murphy, whose testimonials included some from solicitors and chartered accountants, was a positive member of society.

He is a certified accountant and member of local golf and rugby clubs and was used as an ambassador by his employers to garner business.

“There is no excuse for his behaviour, it was inexplicable but he was heavily intoxicated. He has expressed remorse. He and his wife went through a difficult period but they have now reconciled to what took place,” he said.

Mr Hayton said that Murphy’s wife, who was sitting in the public gallery, had been working as an acting school headmistress but new teaching rules meant that because of the offence she is currently suspended from that role.