A TEENAGER struck a woman on the head so hard with a metal bar in Leigh that her skull was exposed, a court heard.

Callum Barlow, of Walmersley Road, Bury, was just 16 when he attacked Claire Mulcrow in the street following a dispute over damage the teen had caused to his victim’s car.

Bob Sastry, prosecuting, told Bolton Crown Court Barlow, now 18, had smashed the window of Mrs Mulcrow’s car on December 20, 2019.

The court heard the victim was having issues with a loan shark but it was unclear if this event was related.

Mr Sastry said around 1am on New Year’s Day 2020, Mrs Mulcrow was in her car with her husband driving along Wigan Road in Leigh when she saw Barlow walking along the street.

She asked her husband to stop the car and she got out to speak to him about the damage caused to her vehicle.

“Mr Barlow then produced a metal bar from his sleeve and used it to strike Mrs Mulcrow once to her head causing a deep gash to her forehead before running off,” said Mr Sastry.

The woman was taken to Wigan Infirmary by her husband where her wound was described as a “large, half an inch-shaped laceration with exposure of the skull”.

Barlow was arrested later that day and denied the offence claiming he was with a friend who later told police officers he hadn’t seen him for around six months.

In a victim impact statement, Mrs Mulcrow said she now had a large scar on her forehead and has lost feeling on the area around the wound.

“I always feel on edge in public and feel that people are staring at me,” she said.

“It is a constant reminder of what Callum Barlow has done to me and will be with me forever.”

Mr Sastry added that Barlow had nine previous convictions for 20 offences, most of which involved violence.

Defending Barlow, who pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon, Kate Roxburgh, said her client had been in custody for almost 12 months and was now more “mature” than at the time of the incident.

Sentencing Barlow, Judge Paul Lawton, said: “You were confronted by your victim because you had caused damage to her car and the reaction was to strike her to the head using an iron bar. It caused appalling injuries and her skull was actually exposed.

“You are a very troubled young man who has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and that is in no doubt because of your upbringing.

"You have had a very turbulent, difficult and unfortunate upbringing and what it has resulted in is you taking the wrong path and immersing yourself in a lifestyle centred around drugs and violence.

“Your life is heading in one of two directions and if you head back you are either going to die a very young man or you’re going to find yourself serving a very long sentence.”

Judge Lawton imposed a youth supervision order for three years and made Barlow the subject of an indefinite restraining order not to approach Mrs Mulcrow or her family.