Single-punch attacker walks free from court after Christmas pub violence
An engineering student, whose single punch seriously injured a man he wrongly thought had just stabbed his brother, has been spared jail.
The blow from Jake Thomason sent Reece Scott crashing to the ground where his head hit the concrete surface during the early hours of Christmas morning, a judge heard.
Mr Mark Stephens, prosecuting at Wolverhampton Crown Court, said: “A woman witness later told police she would never forget the sound of the impact. She rushed to help him and found he was bleeding from an ear.”
Trouble flared when two groups of revellers clashed outside The Old Horns Pub in Queslett Road, Great Barr, on December 25, 2015 during which the defendant’s brother was stabbed in the chest, explained the prosecutor.
It was claimed that Thomason, now aged 23, was heavily intoxicated and upset over the stabbing of his brother when he hit Mr Scott with whom he had argued over a lighter, revealed Mr Stephens.
Mr Scott suffered a fractured skull, bleeds on the brain and a perforated eardrum.
He was detained under treatment in hospital for 11 days and has lost his sense of both smell and taste. He explained in a victim impact statement read to the court that he had not be able to drive for four months and had lost his job.
It continued: “I felt everybody else around me was carrying on with their lives while I could not. I felt angry and kept asking ‘Why me? I had only gone out for the night to enjoy myself’.”
Mr Simon Burch, defending, argued: “The consequences of the punch could not have been foreseen. These were a peculiar and unusual set of circumstances.
“He had witnessed his brother being stabbed and the punch was an emotional response to this. He had drunk alcohol and was upset. He is now filled with regret and remorse.”
Thomason, from Sandringham Road, Birmingham, and of previous good character, pleaded guilty on the day of his trial to causing grievous bodily harm.
He was given a two-year jail term suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work and a four month night-time curfew.
He must also pay Mr Scott £2,500 compensation.
Judge Dean Kershaw told the defendant: “I have no doubt that you wrongly thought the man you punched had stabbed your brother. He had not and had done absolutely nothing wrong. There may have been bickering and arguing but people walk away from that kind of thing.
“I have decided that overall a suspended sentence is the right punishment for somebody who will never come into a courtroom again and could make something really good out of themselves.”
Earlier this month Yusaf 'Biggsy' Mohammed was jailed for six-and-a-half years for stabbing a man during the same trouble at the pub.