Drunken reveller left man with broken jaw after Swindon attack
5:30am Friday 27th December 2013 in News
A REVELLER who left a man with a fractured jaw in an unprovoked drunken attack outside a club has walked free from court.
Dean Hughes had just been thrown out of Bar 20 on Wood Street when he landed the hefty blow on his victim in the street.
But after hearing the 27-year-old bricklayer was sorry for what he had done and could pay compensation a judge decided not to jail him.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how there were two groups in the club in the early hours of Sunday, June 2.
The defendant was in one group and the victim, Darren Winley, who said he was not particularly drunk, was in another.
Miss Hingston said inside the bar Hughes had been aggressive towards Mr Winley because he had accidentally bumped into one of his friends.
As a result of that incident both groups were thrown out as it is the club’s policy to eject both parties in an incident regardless of blame.
Door staff said Mr Winley seemed genuinely confused as to why he had been thrown out but Hughes was cutting up rough.
He was telling them ‘don't touch me’ and ‘get off me’ and a girl with him was joining in telling them to leave him alone.
Miss Hingston said a woman in her forties who was also in the group then launched a vile expletive-laden tirade of abuse at a female member of the door staff.
Meanwhile, another member of his group was threatening the victim saying ‘we'll remember your face’.
“He walked up to the victim, swung right handed to the left of the victim's face. He fell to the ground his head hitting the step leading to the entrance to the club making a horrible cracking sound."
While the victim was rendered unconscious for a few minutes the defendant ran away when he saw the police, but was caught.
As a result of the injury the victim, a window fitter, had to have a metal plate inserted in his jaw and still experienced numbness in the area.
Hughes, of Chickerell Road, Park North, pleaded guilty to a charge of grievous bodily harm.
Jane Malcolm, defending, said until a few days before the incident her client's leg had been in a cast after he broke it so he was ‘celebrating’ his freedom and mobility'.
He had gone out because it was a friend’s mother’s birthday and had drunk so much he had little recollection of what took place.
She said he still lived at home, sharing a bedroom with his younger brother, but planned to move out in the New Year.
Passing sentence Judge Alistair McGrigor said: “You went out with your friends and you drank far too much alcohol.
“You launched an unprovoked assault upon Mr Winley. You punched him on the face. This was serious enough to break his jaw and knock him unconscious when he hit his head on the ground.
“Attacks such as this are far too common and can have devastating consequences for the victim. You can thank yourself lucky you are not here on a far more serious charge. I accept this was a single punch and you have shown genuine remorse.”
He imposed a 12-month jail term suspended for two years and told him to do 200 hours of unpaid work, observe a night time curfew for four months and pay £2,000 compensation.
He said: “You must be under no illusion that you have escaped prison by the narrowest of margins.”