A MOTORCYCLIST who lost the sight in one of his eyes after a Lutterworth man thew an egg at him says he just wants to know why the incident ever happened.
Marc Toone, 33, says he is still suffering more than a year on from the incident which happened in January 2020 and has led to him suffering from permanent eyesight loss in his right eye, visual perception problems and panic attacks.
Thomas Connors, 18, of Mere Road, Lutterworth, was sentenced to a 12-month detention and training order after admitting to his involvement in the incident.
Enquiries carried out following the incident in January last year led to officers identifying Connors as being involved in the incident and driving the car. Further enquiries also linked the incident to a number of other reports of eggs being thrown at people and vehicles in the Market Harborough area during the evening.
At Leicester Magistrates Court on Monday April 26, Connors was sentenced to a 12-month detention and training order after pleading guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent against Mr Toone. He was also ordered to pay £500 compensation.
Following two operations on Mr Toone’s eye in the days after the incident, his treatment is still ongoing and he is now waiting to hear if he will lose his right eye permanently. He has also undergone counselling sessions since the incident to help him deal with the impact it has had.
Speaking following the sentencing, Mr Toone said: “No-one realises the further impact something like this can have. It’s the mental impact it has on you more than a year down the line and the effect it has on your family too. I have a lot of anger about what happened but I also just want to know why it happened. What made someone think that throwing an egg at someone was a good idea?”
Mr Toone had been riding home on the evening of Friday January 10 last year after finishing his job for the evening as a chef. He described noticing a vehicle ahead with its headlights on full beam and made a signal for the car to dim its lights. He then described feeling something hitting his face. At the time, he did not know what the object was. Mr Toone was wearing a helmet but had his visor pulled up due to the cold weather causing the visor to steam up if he kept it down.
As he pulled over after being hit in the face, it was then that Mr Toone realised that there was “blood all over”. He made contact with his partner at the time and was taken to hospital where he underwent two operations on his eye across the next five days. Unfortunately his eyesight in his right eye could not be saved. From enquiries it was established that an egg had been thrown from a car at Mr Toone and was the object which had hit him in the face.
A week after being admitted to hospital, Mr Toone was discharged. Although now back at work, his visual perception has been affected making what used to be simple tasks for him – such as filling a fryer – a lot more challenging. He has also described how a year on from the incident, he found himself struggling to sleep after suffering panic attacks and flashbacks to the incident.
He said: “I have got used to what has happened but every day I get up and I look in the mirror and it is there. It’s a permanent reminder of what has happened and something I have to see every day.”
Connors also pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle dangerously and was issued with a detention and training order for eight months to run concurrently. He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for 12 months and disqualified from driving until an extended test of competence has been passed.
Two other people were hit by eggs during the evening in the other incidents reported. No serious injuries were reported. A number of cars were also damaged after eggs were thrown.
Connors admitted one count of common assault, one count of assault by beating and five counts of criminal damage in relation to these incidents. No separate penalty was issued in relation to these offences.
Connors also pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to an incident on December 14 2019.
A woman had been walking her dog along Wychwood Road in Whetstone, when she reported that eggs had been thrown at her. The woman was hit in the face, causing swelling to her face and her eyes to be sore for several days.
CCTV recovered identified Connors as being involved. Connors was sentenced to a four-month detention and training order in relation to this offence to be served concurrently. He also admitted theft of eggs from a shop on December 14 2019. No separate penalty was issued for this offence.
Officer in the case, Det Cons Jack Thomas, said: “Ultimately an incredibly stupid and thoughtless act has led to a man suffering a life-changing injury which continues to affect him and his family. A number of other people were also injured as a result of this act and vehicles damaged.
“Marc has been incredibly brave to share the personal impact which this incident has had on him both physically and mentally and to show the full consequences an incident such as this can have on the victims involved and the devastation it can cause.
“I hope this does help to make people think twice about their actions and the damage they can cause. We will investigate reports of this nature made to us and will take the action required to find those responsible.”