A man who suffered broken bones and had tendons in his hands sliced during an attack on Cowley Road said he was ‘lucky to be alive’.

Rikki Brackett was battered by a maelstrom of blows during the attack on April 22 last year, which left him lying in a pool of his own blood.

Carl Webster, 28, threw the punch that began the sustained attack – while another man, who has since died, landed blow after blow on Mr Brackett as he lay on the ground.

Mr Brackett, who likened the assault to having a heart attack, suffered a broken eye socket, cracked ribs and torn tendons in his left hand. The damage to his hand was thought to have been caused by a glass he was carrying.

READ MORE: Police tape off section of Cowley Road after late-night incident

In a victim personal statement he said of Webster: “I honestly think he is deadly and I’m lucky to be alive.”

Oxford Mail: A police cordon at the scene on April 22, 2021 Picture: SUBMITTEDA police cordon at the scene on April 22, 2021 Picture: SUBMITTED

However, Oxford Crown Court heard differing accounts about why the fracas began.

The victim said he’d bumped into Webster by chance on the Cowley Road at around 10.20pm, prosecutor Peter Pride told the judge.

Both men had been drinking. CCTV footage picked up the pair initially hugging before Webster threw a single punch then ran down the street followed by Mr Brackett. The victim claimed the attacker said ‘something like “you f***ing p***y, you’re a f***ing grass”’.

Mr Brackett was then knocked to the floor by a second man, who landed ‘at least 20’ punches. Webster returned and struck a second punch before the two attackers eventually walked away.

READ MORE: Murder probe launched after man found dead in house

The victim thought the cause of the assault could have stemmed from an incident in 2019, when Mr Brackett was said to have attacked Webster but described it as 'petty'. 

Oxford Mail: Police cordon at the scene of the attack on Cowley Road on April 22, 2021 Picture: SUBMITTED Police cordon at the scene of the attack on Cowley Road on April 22, 2021 Picture: SUBMITTED

The defendant’s account differed. Jonathan Coode, defending, said that in 2019 Mr Brackett had attacked Webster and thrown a hammer at his sister. Although both men were arrested, it was Mr Brackett who went to prison. He was said by Mr Coode to still be in HMP Bullingdon.

It was claimed that last April Webster, a scaffolder, had tried to make the peace, hugging Mr Brackett before the second man used a racial slur and added: “You’re lucky I don’t poke [stab] you.”

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The defendant threw the first punch as a pre-emptive strike but accepted he ‘foolishly’ returned to the fray later on , the court heard.

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court Picture: ED NIXOxford Crown Court Picture: ED NIX

Webster, of Croxford Gardens, Kidlington, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm. He had previous convictions for ABH and threatening behaviour.

Suspending the 18 month prison sentence for two years, Judge Michael Gledhill QC told Webster: “It is about time you grew up.”

He must pay £500 costs, do 100 hours of unpaid work, 45 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a six month alcohol rehabilitation programme.

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