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Man jailed for violent city centre assault

A man from Manchester has been jailed after a violent assault in the city centre in June.

James Byrne (22/05/1987), of no fixed abode, was sentenced yesterday (Wednesday 23 December 2020) at Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square) to 20 months in jail after previously pleading guilty to section 20 assault.

The court was told that on the evening of Sunday 21 June 2020, Byrne was walking in a group with the victim and other men and women down Back Piccadilly near to Lever Street.

CCTV operators became privy to a confrontation between Byrne and the victim which then developed into Byrne swinging his right arm at the victim before then repeatedly punching and kicking him.

Officers on patrol as part of a dedicated operation responding to concerns of serious crime in the area were quickly on the scene and arrested Byrne for the assault.

When interviewed, Byrne admitted the assault and expressed there was no excuse for his actions; however, admitted he is unlikely to have stopped when he did had the police not arrived when they did.

Byrne was yesterday ordered to spend 20 months.

Superintendent Chris Hill, of GMP’s City of Manchester Central division, said: “We are pleased with today’s verdict as this assault from James Byrne was a ruthless and sustained attack which would have prolonged if it wasn’t for the swift arrival of our officers on patrol.

“We hope the public feel reassured by, not just our response to this incident, but also our response to their concerns about serious crime in this part of the City – the dedicated operation we now have in place was the reason this incident deflated as soon as it did and prevented even more serious injuries for the victim.

“The team are committed to ensuring that the levels of crime around this area continue to decrease and we will continue to ensure the resources that are deployed in dedication to this part of the City are maximised to protect the public from unwanted and unacceptable criminality in the area.”

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