A MASKED thug who rained down blows in the early hours of Christmas Day wrote in a song that he’d taken his time to realise there was something he “ain’t doing right”.
Jordan Nicholson, who despite only being 20 has almost 50 offences to his name, sent lyrics to the court addressing his life of violence – and had also written a letter direct to the judge.
In the handwritten lyrics for a song called Hard Life, Nicholson said he wanted to be a winner and “get away from lonely cells”. He said: “I’m tryna make a change cuz its time. Gotta put my past behind me start to open up my eyes, put my family first and stop crime.”
His lawyer, Rob Ross, told Swindon Crown Court yesterday that Nicholson appreciated the violent life he’d led from a young age “was not a good life to lead and it’s not a good life for anyone to lead”.
The lyrics in which Nicholson speaks of his desire to change
Together with friend Terrence Jacks, 33, then 19-year-old Nicholson was responsible for putting a man in intensive care in the early hours of Christmas Day in 2019.
Nicholson had approached the man and his then girlfriend in Swindon town centre and asked for a lighter or cigarette. When the man made it clear he did not have one the teenager left.
But he returned several minutes later wearing a balaclava and wielding a metal pole, followed by Jacks and another man.
The group clashed outside the HSBC branch on Canal Walk, with Nicholson eventually ushered away by Jacks.
One of the poles used in the attack by Jacks and Nicholson
The victim shouted at the men. Nicholson turned towards him, swinging his metal pole and hitting the man half a dozen times. Jacks lashed out with his feet as Nicholson repeatedly jabbed him with the pole.
A third altercation broke out when the victim stumbled after the aggressors. He was taken to the ground by Jacks before Nicholson carried out what the judge described as a “sustained and brutal assault”.
At his trial, jurors heard that Jacks was arrested wearing the grey jumper and jeans visible in CCTV footage. Blood on the jeans matched the victim’s DNA and Jacks’ DNA was found on the handle of a weapon found near the scene of the attack.
The victim, who had been knocked out in the assault and was left in a pool of his own blood and vomit, was taken to GWH and intubated by doctors then kept in intensive care ward.
In a victim personal statement he wrote he still suffered from headaches and had lost consciousness. The attack had left him with a large scar.
Nicholson, of Stapleton Road, Bristol, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and beating the man’s girlfriend. He had been released on licence two months before the attack and had 27 convictions for 49 offences.
Jacks, of Bisley Close, Swindon, was found guilty of wounding with intent. He had 49 convictions for 107 offences, including robbery. He was jailed for six months in 2018 for dangerous driving.
Rob Ross, mitigating, said his client was remorseful and had used his time on remand to “do his level best to try to work out some change within himself”.
He said: “It’s a sad situation of a young man who was almost an accident waiting to happen and what happened on Christmas Day 2019 was that accident.
“Now, people react to that sort of thing in one of two ways. Either they don’t give a damn, do their time, come out and carry on being a violent thug or they sit back and appreciate that they are in a serious position. He did that.”
Nicholson was said to be an intelligent man, interested in music and keen to change. He suffered from a number of mental health issues.
Swindon Crown Court, where the case was heard Picture: ADVER
Tony Bignall, for Jacks, said his client had moved away from Swindon after the attack and had been working and taking responsibility for his child until he was remanded. He had taken the trial process seriously, even insisting to hospital doctors one morning after a bicycle accident that he was discharged so he could attend court.
Jacks had suffered from depression and there was a suspicion he could have learning difficulties. Mr Bignall said: “He’s a troubled young man, he’s not a vicious young man, he’s certainly not in my submission a violent thug. Unfortunately, he can be a bit volatile and he can be unthinking but he needs to reflect on that.”
Jailing each man for seven years, Judge Peter Crabtree said of the assault: “It was an utterly brutal and sustained attack.”
The men will have to serve two thirds of their sentence behind bars before they are eligible for release on licence.