TWO young men have been found not guilty of trying to kill a man who was attacked with a metal bar in Kendal and left seriously injured.
Luke Peter Canning, aged 22, of Bridge Street, Burneside, and 26-year-old Jordan Lee Jenkinson, of Lound Road in Kendal, denied a charge which alleged they attempted to murder Richard Wilkinson following an incident at the town’s Waterside just before 2am on March 30.
After a week-long trial at Carlisle Crown Court, a jury took less than an hour to acquit Canning and Jenkinson of that allegation.
However, Jenkinson was convicted, unanimously, of causing Mr Wilkinson grievous bodily harm with intent - an offence Canning had previously admitted.
The prosecution told how the pair mounted a “revenge attack” after Canning was head-butted by Mr Wilkinson outside town pub Smokies. Mr Wilkinson left the area and returned with a metal bar but was disarmed and subjected to a ferocious joint attack after being pursued to Waterside.
Several eyewitnesses told jurors how they saw a metal bar attack by Canning which one described as “vicious”.

Two bravely went to help Mr Wilkinson, while a third later told police of that attack by Canning: “He had swung the object with such force that it looked as if he didn’t care if he took the male on the ground’s head off. It was a full-powered downward strike with one hand.”
Mr Wilkinson - who could not recall the attack but made a good recovery - suffered facial and rib fractures, and lost teeth. A Home Office pathologist asked to provide an expert opinion concluded he received at least 31 separate blows, including four stamps and five kicks to the head and body, and 18 strikes to the torso with a blunt cylindrical object. In addition, she said injuries to his lower arms were “typical defence-type wounds”.
Graphic injury photos were shown to the jury.
She concluded her written report by saying Mr Wilkinson’s injuries were “serious and severe, and would undoubtedly have caused immense pain and suffering”.
Giving evidence, Canning was asked by his barrister, Rachel Woods, whether he was trying to murder Mr Wilkinson. He replied: “No. I would never dream of doing such a thing.”
Jenkinson admitted he lashed out violently at weapon-wielding Mr Wilkinson but only in self-defence after he was attacked himself. He denied trying to kill or cause serious harm, claiming: “I was fearing for my own life.”
Upon learning of the jury’s verdicts, Judge James Adkin adjourned the case and asked for background reports assessing the risk posed by Canning and Jenkinson of causing future serious harm to the public.
Remanding both men in custody until October 14, Judge Adkin told them: “You should both expect long custodial sentences for your involvement.”