A would-be teacher from Staffordshire who fractured a man’s jaw with a ‘cheap shot’ has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Christopher Milner, from Lichfield, hit an RAF serviceman with a single punch in the city’s Scales public house under the glare of CCTV cameras.
The footage, played to Stafford crown court, showed the two men sitting at a table in the pub, with a third acting as a ‘mediator’ in an old dispute.
Mr Kevin Jones, prosecuting, said Milner rose from his seat and struck the victim. The blow broke his jaw, which had to be repaired with a metal plate.
Milner, aged 23, of Cherry Orchard, Lichfield, who admitted a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm, was given an eight-month sentence suspended for a year, and ordered to pay the victim £2,000 compensation, plus £535 costs and £100 surcharge.
Recorder Mr Chris Bright told him: “You perceived the complainant had made threats against your brother. Mr [William] Hunt was mediating between you and Mr Freeth sitting at that table. This man was sitting down, what you did was take a cheap shot in temper against someone who couldn’t defend himself.”
Mr Austen Bannister, defending, said: “This matter is going to have long-term consequences for my client – he is not going to be a teacher, his chosen career.”
The court was told that the offence, on January 24 this year, was completely out of character for Milner, who had no prior convictions and had shown remorse.