A man has been jailed for 12 years for a “savage and sustained assault” on a disabled man on crutches that has left him needing lifelong round-the-clock care.

Brian Marsden attacked Luke Brewer for 20 minutes in the park behind McDonald’s in Brighouse, landing kick after kick to his head and delivering rabbit punches as he lay unconscious on the ground.

Marsden, 44, of Whinney Hill Park, Brighouse, was originally charged with attempted murder but his guilty plea to causing grievous bodily harm with intent was accepted by the Crown earlier this month.

Bradford Crown Court heard today that the assault took place on the afternoon of April 5 when Marsden was drunk and swearing.

Prosecutor Helen Chapman said Mr Brewer suffered with Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) and the steroids needed to treat it had eroded his hips leaving him needing crutches. He was due to have a fifth hip replacement the week after the attack.

Staff at McDonald’s on Bradford Road saw the men talking together in the park and then Marsden throwing a crutch into bushes and stamping on and kicking something on the ground.

The police were called and he was arrested at 4.50pm after attacking Mr Brewer for 20 minutes.

Marsden accused Mr Brewer of starting the violence and made no comment in interview.

Mr Brewer was taken to Leeds General Infirmary with a Glasgow coma scale of five.

He had extensive facial injuries, a blood clot and bleeding on the brain and nasal frac-tures.

Miss Chapman said he was in a vegetative state for several weeks and needed to be fed by the nurses.

He was transferred to Chapel Allerton Hospital in Leeds and was due to be moved to a specialist brain injury unit, the court was told.

Gerald Hendron said in mitigation that Marsden had a long-standing addiction to crack cocaine and heroin. He had convictions for offences of dishonesty but had not demonstrated a propensity to violence.

Mr Hendron conceded that Mr Brewer’s injuries were “profound and catastrophic.”

Marsden claimed that Mr Brewer started the violence but accepted that his actions “went way over the top.”

“He did not start this but he lost all self-control and for that he knows he was profoundly wrong,” Mr Hendron said.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Richard Mansell QC, said Mr Brewer was vulnerable because of his medical condition.

After his arrest, Marsden said that he had “got the better” of Mr Brewer whose injuries were so severe that he was never able to give an account of what had happened to him.

“If there was a confrontation between Mr Brewer and you before this savage and sus-tained assault, nobody at McDonald’s saw it and in any event, the disability suffered by Mr Brewer meant that he offered no real threat to you and any threat he did pose was very quickly repelled,” Judge Mansell told Marsden.

He had only superficial facial injuries and made no comment in interview.

Last month, the prognosis was that Mr Brewer was unlikely ever to return to independ-ent living. He needed supervision 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Judge Mansell said he was highly vulnerable and the assault was prolonged and persis-tent, including repeated kicks to the head with a shod foot.