Wardle man jailed following violent attacks on people during nights out

Date published: 05 December 2023

A Wardle man has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for unprovoked attacks on three men during two separate incidents, including a father and son.

Joshua Greenwood, 27, was sentenced on Monday (4 December), after having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two offences of causing grievous bodily harm and one offence of causing actual bodily harm.

Minshull Street Crown Court heard how the first victim had been enjoying a night out at a bar in Rochdale with his friends on 26 November 2021, and last recalled purchasing drinks inside a premises, having been attacked by Greenwood shortly after.

He was later taken to North Manchester General Hospital, where it was established that he had suffered serious injuries, including multiple fractures of the eye-socket, cheekbone and jaw, and required corrective surgery from which he is still to make a full recovery.

A couple of months later, on the evening of 5 February 2022, a father and a son were socialising together in Rochdale town centre. The father was 80-years-old at the time.

At around 10pm, the pair were walking along Packer Street, when two men walked past them. Unexplainably, Greenwood began to punch the older man to the face and head, causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head on street furniture.

The two men then attacked his son when he attempted to help his father, also punching him to the ground.

A text message received by Greenwood just a few hours before he attacked the pair indicated surprise that he was out again as he had recently stated he “always ended up in town and wanting to punch someone’s head off.”

In the days after the assault, Joshua Greenwood was arrested and interviewed in relation to the offences.

The other man involved in the second assault earlier pleaded guilty and received a fine.

Detective Constable Russell Clarke, from Greater Manchester Police’s Rochdale district, said: “Greenwood is unlikely to realise the magnitude of the impact he has had on the victims in this case.

“He is a man of significant size and on two occasions, he used his physique to inflict serious injuries on people unlucky enough to find themselves within his reach. He punched them as hard as he could to the face, completely unprovoked, with absolutely no consideration for the consequences of his actions - consequences which for these victims included life-changing physical, emotional and psychological harm.

“Greenwood behaved this way towards a man in his eighties who was simply out enjoying an evening with his son. Having fractured the eye-socket, cheekbone and jaw of another victim, he is captured laughing and dancing on the dance-floor before leaving the premises.

“This victim has now had his driving licence revoked by the DVLA as a result of the eye injury he sustained. The attack continues to have a devastating impact on his life.

“During his first suspect interview, Greenwood described himself as a ‘peacemaker’, who could de-escalate situations and prevent violence. When later confronted with evidence indicating he was in fact the opposite, he decided not to answer questions.

“It is hoped that the sentence imposed is sufficient to ensure Greenwood never inflicts harm like this on anybody again. Greater Manchester Police will do all that is necessary to ensure that those who engage in acts of violence are caught and confronted with the full force of the law."

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