'On edge' pub manager attacker spared jail
A pub manager fractured his skull after being knocked out by a single punch from a customer 'on edge' after being attacked by himself four months earlier,a judge heard.
Gary Redmond had a row with his then partner while the couple were in the Seven Stars at Oldswinford, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
This resulted in him swapping insults with another woman who was the girlfriend of the pub's manager Rob Eaton, explained Mr Daniel Oscroft, prosecuting.
She told Mr Eaton at closing time that the defendant had also just slapped the back of her head and as he approached Redmond outside the pub the 46-year-old hit him 'an almighty punch' as soon as he was within range, revealed Mr Oscroft who continued: "The blow knocked him out and when his skull hit the tarmac it literally cracked and he suffered a significant injury."
The defendant - who had drunk three pints - quickly left the scene but sent a sympathetic message to the victim days later after learning of the seriousness of the incident, the court heard.
Redmond had been beaten up by attackers who struck from behind four months previously and, as a result, was still 'on edge' when the confrontation took place, said Mr Anthony Cook, defending, who argued: His perception at the time was that he was under threat.
He thought it better to get in first. He is not a big drinker and does not go out looking for a fight but his reaction on this occasion was affected by the previous incident."
Mr Eaton, who was treated in hospital for four days, suffered from post concussion syndrome while also developing vertigo and memory loss, it was said. The victim, who has been forced to leave the pub trade, said in an impact statement: "I cannot recall anything about the assault but I know I did not deserve this."
Redmond from Church Road, Stourbridge, and of previous good character, pleaded guilty on the day of trial to causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Eaton on August 6 2016 and was told by Recorder Charles Falk:
"This is one of those horrendous cases where a single punch caused devastating injury which was not intended. But this was completely unprovoked. He was doing nothing provocative and had not said anything."
The defendant was given a 21-month jail sentence suspended for two years with 150 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay the victim £600 compensation.
The pub had been boarded up over recent months.