Musician has jaw wired shut and left unable to feel girlfriend’s kisses after brutal pub attack

A musician can no longer feel his girlfriend’s kisses after a drunken joiner shattered his jaw with a powerful kick from a steel toe-capped boot.

Adam Lewis, 31, had to endure nearly two months of “medieval torture” after surgeons wired his jaw shut – forcing him to eat his Christmas dinner through a straw.

But the University of Liverpool music lecturer was left reeling when he realised nerve damage to his bottom lip meant kissing his girlfriend no longer felt the same.

Adam has been dealing with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since thug Anthony Hart, 33, attacked him outside the Hope and Anchor Pub, in Maryland Street, Liverpool City Centre , on December 6 last year.

The bass player, who moved to Liverpool from his home in Essex 12 years ago, told the ECHO how the brutal assault has left him with a loss of sensation.

Horrific injuries suffered by Adam Lewis, 31, who says it does not feel the same to kiss his partner after a brutal assault shattered his jaw
(Image: Adam Lewis)
  Self conscious

He said: “It really upset me. When we first got together that was one of the things [my partner] said; ‘you’re a really good kisser’. It was one of those things, you feel great, you walk with a swagger, you know?

“But even now, on a personal level, it just doesn’t feel the same because of the nerve damage on my bottom lip. I also drool when I eat, I drool when I drink.

Horrific injuries suffered by Adam Lewis, 31, who says it does not feel the same to kiss his partner after a brutal assault shattered his jaw
(Image: Adam Lewis)

“They are my two vices, I like to eat and go out for meals, and I like to have a drink. I will save up and go out for a nice meal, but now I am self conscious about it.

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“Even having a pint in the Philarmonic, I will be thinking oh have I spilled something, have I got Guinness in my beard, are people looking.”

The recovery process was long and traumatic, and Adam even had to carry around a pair of wire cutters at all times in case he vomited, meaning he would have to cut the wires in his jaw to avoid choking to death.

An x-ray of injuries suffered by Adam Lewis, 31, after a joiner kicked him in the face shattering his jaw
(Image: Adam Lewis)
Tears in Tesco

Adam told the ECHO he was not ashamed to admit he had found himself in tears for no reason.

He said: “The day after I got the wires cut, me and [my partner] were sitting in Cafe Tabac on Bold Street. I started smiling and she started crying.

“She said ‘you have not smiled in seven weeks’, and it was because every time I tried to smile for a split second there was a sharp piece of metal sticking into my lip.

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“That got me, and I was like f****** hell. That was the onset of the psychological effects really. I can’t really explain it, I would break down in tears for no reason.

“It is only in the last couple of weeks that I have got a grip on it, although I cried when I got the phone call about the sentence.

Horrific injuries suffered by Adam Lewis, 31, who says it does not feel the same to kiss his partner after a brutal assault shattered his jaw
(Image: Adam Lewis)

“I would be walking around the Park Road Tesco with a basket full of shopping and just break down in tears, I would have to drop the basket and just run out.”

Since the wires in his jaw were removed with pliers – a painful and bloody process – he has been on a lengthy waiting list to see a psychiatrist and has been prescribed medication which he said did not help.

Brutal assault

Adam’s memories of the incident are patchy thanks to the concussion he suffered, but he says he had only had around two pints and did not feel intoxicated at all.

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He said he was enjoying a night in the Hope and Anchor with his partner, and another couple they were friends with.

Earlier in the night he said Hart and his friend Murray, both joiners who had been working on a building site near the pub, had been mocking his Essex accent, although he had just laughed it off.

However later on the pair began insulting Adam and his friends again, which escalated when one of the assailants made a vile, sexual comment towards his friend’s partner.

Anthony Hart, 33, from Newmorn Court, Aigburth, who was jailed for 27 months for inflicting GBH
(Image: Merseyside Police)

He says his friend and the two thugs squared up to each other and Murray threw a punch, but CCTV played in court showed Adam moving in to act as the peacemaker.

He said: “I told the other lad to take his friend and go home, and the next thing I know I was punched in the back of the head.

“From what I have been told by the police officers and others he’s punched me and as I am on my hands and knees he’s volleyed me in the jaw like [rugby player] Jonny Wilkinson.

“The bone was snapped on both sides.”

Adam says he was taken to Aintree Hospital A&E where he had to wait five hours for stronger pain relief than paracetamol, because he had been drinking.

He said: “I am not afraid to say I was crying from the pain for about three or four days constantly. The worst part was when I got the news my jaw had been wired shut.”

Adam Lewis kissing his partner before the attack
(Image: Adam Lewis)
‘Lover not a hater’

Adam says initially surgeons had hoped to repair the injury in theatre, but the unusual nature of the break to the right side of his jaw meant it was necessary to wire it shut.

He says his attacker was wearing work-gear, and surgeons said due to the nature of the injury he was most likely wearing a steel-toe cap boot or similar.

He said: “My mum came up and took me back to Essex. I have a lot of friends up here but there’s nothing quite like being around your mum and dad when something like this happens.

“I was on a liquid diet and I lost two stone. I couldn’t eat anything with any lumps in, I couldn’t even drink smoothies, it had to be pure liquid.”

Adam, who plays in several bands and is well known in the city centre pub scene for gigs and quiz nights he hosts, says he was nervous about the court process.

The remains of the frame used to wire Adam Lewis’s jaw shut after a brutal assault
(Image: Adam Lewis)

He said: “I am not a violent person, I am a lover not a hater. I have a squeaky clean criminal record and I am a bass player, I am not going to risk damaging my hands by going around fighting.

“I can hand on heart say I have never instigated a fight in my life.

“I didn’t want to go through the court process, and I think if they had turned around after a couple of weeks and said it was out of character, I am sorry, here’s some money for your lost earnings I wouldn’t have minded dropping the charges.

“But they pleaded not guilty initially and I am not a hard man to find, you start to worry about reprisals and things and I am not that way inclined.”

Justice

Yesterday at Liverpool Crown Court, Hart, from Newmorn Court in Aigburth , was jailed for 27 months after pleading guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Jailing him, Judge Robert Warnock said the consequences for Adam were “truly horrifying.”

The wire cutters Adam Lewis had to carry around to free his jaw in case he vomited
(Image: Adam Lewis)

He added that Adam, who described himself as “an emotional wreck”, may suffer permanent long term consequences.

The court heard how 18 inches of wire had been woven around his teeth, which his gums had grown around – meaning they were torn open when the wires were removed without anaesthetic.

Murray, also a 33-year-old joiner, of Alwyn Street, Aigburth, admitted affray after the prosecution agree to drop a GBH charge.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 20 days rehabilitation activities and 150 hours unpaid work.

Julian Nutter, defending Hart, said his client was a hard working man with two children, has shown remorse and has taken steps to address his behaviour.

“He has made a big mistake once in his life,” he added.

Gerald Baxter, representing Murray said his client was also a hard working family man who had pleaded guilty.

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