After his attacker walked free from Preston Crown Court with a suspended sentence, Lee Burns, who was punched in a near-fatal attack on his stag in Poulton has, together with his wide Sara, issued this joint statement.
‘We feel robbed, upset, angry and let down with the justice system. But also, we feel relief from not having the court case hanging over us- we have gone through many emotions in the last week all which was to be expected. What we have decided is that last year has taken away so much of our happiness, it has had huge impact on our children. Now it’s time to start a fresh and start making the most of lives together.”
Our lives have changed forever and we don’t have a time machine to go back.
But what we do have is each other to move forward and that could of been so different.
The life long effects for victims can be so different.
Even though they look okay in their recovery, that’s not always the case – as it is with Lee.
Yes, he looks okay and yes he walks and talks but cognitively, is his brain okay?
The answer is sadly no and further assessments we have had with professionals have proven he has lifelong injures.
Further down the line we might also face more issues so really it’s us that is faced with the life sentence and not the perpetrator.’
Lee’s attacker, 33-year-old Scott Sutcliffe, was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for two years at Preston Crown Court. Sutcliffe was also ordered to abide by an electronically monitored curfew, daily from 9pm to 6am, until 30th April this year and pay Lee £14,000 compensation.
Following the unprovoked attack outside the Boca Bar in Breck Road, Poulton, Lee’s wedding to Sara was postponed as he underwent a three-hour operation on his skull and brain at the Royal Preston Hospital, before being placed into an induced coma for more than a week. In total, Lee spent more than a month fighting for his life in the Royal Preston Hospital and Blackpool Victoria Hospital, with his family not knowing whether he would ever walk or talk again. But after a long period of gruelling rehabilitation work and thanks to an inspiring, most positive attitude, Lee was eventually to have his dream come true when he married his fiancée Sara Smith many months later.