“He walked everywhere, was strong and played football with his friends… he does none of these things now”: Couple jailed for brutally attacking man – leaving him unable to work

A couple who brutally attacked a man and left him with life-changing injuries have been jailed.

John Whitby, 36, sustained serious injuries in the ‘unprovoked’ attack and required emergency brain surgery following the incident.

Catherine Mary Jones, 41, of Stourport Close, Romiley, and Joel Lloyd Hall, 38, of Wardle Close, Stretford, both pleaded guilty to assault and were jailed today (October 22) at Minshull Street Crown Court.

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Police were called to Moss Road in Stretford at around 6.30am on April 18, 2020, following reports a man had been assaulted by a man and a woman outside a house.

Jones and Hall punched and kicked Mr Whitby in the street after a night drinking together.

Witnesses reported seeing the pair then carry the victim back into the house.

Attending the address, officers said there was no visible evidence of an assault while Jones and the victim’s partner both said they were unaware of any incident.

Two hours later, Mr Whitby’s partner called an ambulance after finding him unresponsive in bed and covered in vomit.

Joel Lloyd Hall
(Image: GMP)

Mr Whitby, who has two young children and four stepchildren, was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery to relieve a bleed on the brain and was put on a ventilator.

He then spent the next seven months in hospital, before finally being released in November 2020.

Mr Whitby’s partner, Haley Shakoor, said in a victim impact statement: “John is not the man he was before he was assaulted and never will be.

“He used to be very fit and used to walk up mountains with his brother.

“He worked full time as a plasterer, working long hours – he walked or went everywhere on his bike.

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“He was super strong and regularly played football with his friends. John does none of these things now – it has all been taken away from him.

“He cannot even hold a paintbrush now, which causes him great distress and upset. I don’t think John will play football or work again.

“I wish the people who did this could see the life he is living and could see everything they have taken away from him.”

Mr Whitby is not expected to be able to work again as a plasterer.

When police raided Jones’ home in Stockport on the day of the attack, they found Hall hiding in an airing cupboard and both were arrested.

Catherine Mary Jones
(Image: GMP)

On May 14, 2021, Jones pleaded guilty to section 20 assault while Hall pleaded guilty to section 18 assault.

He later attempted to change his plea but the guilty plea was confirmed at a hearing at Minshull Street Crown Court on September 23, 2021.

Appearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court today (October 22), Hall was jailed for 11 and a half years while Jones was sent to prison for 30 months.

Detective Constable Jane Naylor, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “This was an unprovoked and brutal attack that has had a devastating effect on the victim and his family.

“The family have really struggled and the victim didn’t see his children or stepchildren for seven months while he was in hospital. It is also unlikely he will ever work again.

“Hall and Jones are now rightly behind bars but the change of plea and the long delay has caused further upset and stress to the family.

“I would also like to thank the witnesses for their bravery as their evidence has put two violent offenders behind bars.”

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