A NIGHTCLUB customer broke a student’s jaw with a ferocious punch after a fight between their friends broke out in a smoking area.
Charlie Williams “lashed” out at Maxim Tapsell at The Courtyard in Newport when one of the defendant’s pals was hit by someone else.
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Cardiff Crown Court heard how violence flared at around 3.20am between two groups who had initially been friendly with each other.
Claire Pickthall, prosecuting, said: “The incident was captured on CCTV. It would appear that some of the group are heavily intoxicated.
“He punched the victim in the face. It was a powerful blow and it knocked him to the ground.
“The defendant and his associates then left the scene.
“The complainant was in significant pain and was taken to hospital.
“He recalls waiting in A&E for 10 hours. He said it was a distressing and humiliating experience.”
Ms Pickthall said Mr Tapsell underwent surgery after suffering three fractures to his lower jaw.
She added: “This happened just before he was due to start university.
“He couldn’t eat and couldn’t socialise with his college friends.
“Mr Tapsell feels he was robbed of his first year in university.
“He says he still experiences stress and anxiety and he feels he now needs eyes in the back of his head.”
Williams, 25, of Dickens Drive, Newport, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
The offence was committed on August 29, 2019.
Andrew Davies, mitigating, said the long delay in bringing the case to court was not the fault of the defendant.
He told of how Williams was operating his own valeting business in the centre of Newport but his operation had been hit by coronavirus.
Mr Davies added how his client hopes to start trading again when the pandemic allows.
The judge, Recorder Greg Bull QC, told Williams: “This was a nasty offence but it is of some antiquity – it happened nearly two years ago.
“It was started by a friend of the complainant.
“You lashed out with a ferocious punch flooring the victim.
“It has had a catastrophic effect on him and it destroyed his enjoyment of his first year in university.
“In mitigation, you pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and you have no previous relevant convictions.”
The defendant was jailed for 10 months, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
He must complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and pay Mr Tapsell £1,000 in compensation within 12 months.