Girlfriend used body as shield to stop Hanley attack
TWO men have been jailed for a 'sickening' street attack which saw a woman use her body as a human shield to protect her partner.
Gregory Wood and Christopher Muldoon were captured on CCTV kicking and punching victim Michael Malkin in the city centre during the early hours of the morning.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday saw footage of the incident which showed Mr Malkin's partner lie on his body to stop the defendants beating him up.
Judge Paul Glenn handed 25-year-old Wood a 12-month prison sentence with Muldoon, aged 23, being jailed for 10 months.
"You launched a long attack on the victim where he was stamped on and kicked," said Judge Glenn.
"His girlfriend stopped the attack by lying on top of him as a human shield. It must have been horrifying for her."
The court heard that Wood and Muldoon, who both pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm, approached Mr Malkin in Old Hall Street, Hanley, at 3am on July 10.
Rebecca Wade, prosecuting, said: "The complainant was walking through Hanley with his partner and a friend looking for a taxi after drinking in the town. They were approached by the defendants in the street.
"At the beginning there was brief physical confrontation with some pushing behind the bus stop where Michael Malkin appears to fall against the wall.
"The complainant's group walk away and they are then approached from behind and the assault takes place."
The attack left Mr Malkin with a swollen and bruised eye.
CCTV footage captured Wood initially assaulting the victim before Muldoon joined in.
During the attack, Mr Malkin's girlfriend was flung to the floor before lying on her partner.
Peter McCartney, who defended Wood, of Norris Road, Stanfields, said: "After the group left that should have been the end of it but Michael Malkin shouted something back and Wood lost his temper.
"This young man was destined for the Army but later went AWOL and was dishonourably discharged.
"He's got a good work ethic mainly through agency work. He deeply regrets his actions on that night."
Robert Smith, defending Muldoon, of Milton Road, Sneyd Green, said at the time of the incident his client was troubled after being made redundant and splitting from his long term partner.
He said: "He now has stable accommodation and a part-time job earning £35 working one-day-a-week at a sandwich shop. He is too proud to claim benefits."
Judge Glenn added: "This was a sickening incident and the footage shows you wanted to do more harm than you did."