HEARTBROKEN Lisa Snowden – whose husband Phil was left with permanent brain damage after a ferocious and unprovoked nightclub attack – has launched a hard-hitting campaign against booze-fuelled violence.
The devastated 33-year-old, of Pontefract, said she had lost her “best friend” at the hands of violent drunk Adam Smith, who punched and kicked Mr Snowden so hard he was left with severe spinal injuries and will never walk or talk again.
Mrs Snowden and her family are now calling for “zero tolerance” and tougher sentencing for drunken disorder after Smith, 25, of Cobblers Lane, Pontefract, was caged for nine years and four months for grievous bodily harm with intent at Leeds Crown Court last Friday.
She said: “The fact that he pleaded guilty meant that the courts took five years off his sentence – people should serve the full sentence for the crime regardless.
“The best punishment would be taking a chip out of the head of the person they love the most, and letting them go through every single day that we have gone through with Phil.
“We can’t change what’s happened, no matter how angry anybody gets, but we can lobby for zero tolerance on drunken violence.
“If we can stop one person from being hurt like Phil then it will be worth it.”
Mr Snowden, 33, was on a “rare” night out at Mustang Sally’s in Wakefield last October when Smith launched a vicious attack – punching him at least eight times and kicking him in the face.
He had been out celebrating the next step of a Canadian visa application process, where he and his wife had hoped to move and adopt children.
Mrs Snowden, of Cromwell Crescent, who had stayed at home that night, said: “There was a knock on a door and I thought it was just Phil, I thought he was too drunk and had lost his keys. When I opened the door and saw the police my heart dropped.”
Doctors at Wakefield’s Pinderfields Hospital feared her husband might not survive because of the extent of his injuries.
Mr Snowden was discharged from hospital last June and now receives 24-hour care at Castleford’s Fairburn Vale Care Home on Wheldon Road.
Mrs Snowden, who visits her husband for seven hours every day, said: “My life as I knew it, stopped, just like that, my whole world came crashing down, my husband and my best friend snatched away from me, our life, our future together, our hopes, our dreams – it’s all gone, and even if Phil were to get better to a point of independence, which is sadly unlikely, he will never be the same person again, and that breaks my heart.”
To find out more about Mrs Snowden’s campaign, visit www.facebook.com and search for ‘Justice 4 Big Phil’.