A VIOLENT thug who inflicted horrific and unprovoked violence on a woman who was a complete stranger in Workington town centre has been officially declared 'dangerous' by Appeal Court judges.

John Ian Pullin, 34, repeatedly stamped on his victim’s head during his attack, continuing his violence even as she lay on the ground unconscious.

The attack ended thanks to two Stagecoach bus company workers who courageously intervened and hauled Pullin away from his victim to overpower him.

Details have now been released of the Appeal Court hearing which led to a doubling of the defendant’s original sentence.

In April, a Carlisle Crown Court judge jailed Pullin for three years and four months, but prosecutors argued successfully that the sentence was "unduly lenient".

The three Appeal Court judges considering the case imposed a new sentence of seven years and one month, together with a four year extension to his licence period, meaning he will be at risk of recall to prison until 2033.

In their judgement, the judges outlined the horrific facts of the case, revealing fresh detail about the appalling level of violence used by Pullin.

The defendant, from Cleator Moor, was running along Murray Road in Workington on March 3 when he almost bumped into the woman he attacked.

She had to jump out of his way but he irrationally accused her of trying to trip him up.

Pullin grabbed the woman by her hair and threw her aggressively to the ground, her head making 'forceful contact' with the tarmac. A witness heard her head making a 'sickening thud' as it hit the ground.

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As she lay unconscious, Pullin yelled abuse and then picked up the woman’s suitcase and hurled it at her head.

The judgement states: “He then stamped on her head with considerable force. He picked up a mobile telephone that had fallen to the ground, and threw it at [the vicitim’s} head, again with a great deal of force.

“He then tried to stamp on [her] head again, but as he did so [the bus company worker] intervened.”

As the worker tried to drag Pullin away, the defendant punched the man to the face and head, causing his glasses to fall off. A second bus company worker also intervened and Pullin punched him also.

Even after the polcie arrived, Pullin continued to be aggressive.

The judgement states: “Such was the ferocity of the attack, [the first bus company worker] believed that if he had not intervened the Mr Pullin would have killed [the woman]. Another eyewitness described that he thought Mr Pullin was "going to murder the female if someone hadn't intervened".

Pullin’s previous 103 offences included nine since May 2019 when he has accumulated convictions for 15 offences of assault or battery, including 11 assaults on emergency workers.

The judges also considered the impact of the attack on the woman. As well as the physical impacts – including a hand injury that left her unable to use a computer and breathing difficulties – she was left traumatised.

“She will no longer go out in the dark,” the judgement states.

“She is terrified she will see Mr Pullin again. She believes that the staff at the bus station saved her life. She has been told by her doctor that she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Her thumb was still broken, and she could not use it. She could not even open a can of drink.”

The bus company worker described waking at night and remembering the sound of the woman’s head hitting the ground.

The judges said that CCTV images of the 'unprovoked and vicious attack' showed clearly that it was persistent.

The violence and the defendant’s recent criminal record demonstrated his "unrestrained disposition to the use of unjustifiable violence on a regular basis,” said the judges.

The incident also showed Pullin to be capable of “extreme violence that is as irrational as it is extreme.”

That court’s new sentence means that that Pullin, of Birks Road, Cleator Moor, will not now be eligible to apply for parole until he has served at least two thirds of the seven years and one month sentence.

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