A yob has been ordered to find £2,500 in compensation for fracturing a Leconfield teenager’s jaw in an unprovoked night-time street attack in Beverley.
Factory worker Andrew Barrett, 24, punched Connor Binney, 19, so hard he fractured his jaw in two places requiring an operation to have it reset under general anesthetic.
Barrett, who has three previous convictions including one of assault, thought he would teach Mr Binney a lesson. He punched him after wrongly assuming his group of friends had bumped into an elderly woman on a narrow footpath as they approached the Upper Crust takeaway in Saturday Market, Beverley.
Barrett, got it wrong because he was drunk. He emerged from the takeaway to hear his mate Andrew Bragg challenging Mr Binney’s friends saying “You hit that old woman! It’s disgusting,” Crown barrister Helen Wheatley, told Hull Crown Court on Monday June 2.
She said Mr Binney, of Leconfield, had been with friends, Louis Whittle and Lloyd Marshall playing pool in Beverley on April 16 and had not been drinking. They were on their way home, deciding first to get some food from the takeaway, when they came across an elderly couple on the pavement. The man warned them they were in danger of knocking into his wife. They apologised and carried onto the takeaway, but the scene had been miss-interpreted. Barrett’s friend Andrew Bragg, initially told the trio he had seen what they had done, until they put him right. Midway through the exchange Barrett came out of the takeaway and decided to launch a single punch into Mr Binney’s face.
“Mr Binney said it was like being hit by a football,” said Mrs Wheatley. “He said he suddenly felt dizzy. His head and his ears were ringing. He felt his mouth fill with blood and knew something was wrong. He wandered off and saw a girl who he knew. She was quite concerned for her friend as she saw blood come out of his mouth. He had become separated from his friends who began to look for him.”
He saw Barratt again who saw the state of his face and apologized realizing he had made the wrong assumption about the elderly woman.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Binney said he had suffered damage to the blood supply in his mouth and may lose teeth in the long term. Previously he had enjoyed socializing, but was now worried about going out in Beverley.
Barrett of Trinity Lane, Beverley, pleaded guilty to one charge of causing grievous bodily harm and appeared on bail for sentence. The court heard he had two convictions for three offences including battery in 2002 and criminal damage in 2013.
Defence barrister Nigel Clive said Barrett accepted the offence crossed the custody threshold, but said Barrett who works at a chemical factory in Beverley could pay his victim compensation if he were not jailed. He said Barrett immediately accepted his responsibility even though he could remember nothing of the attack as he had been drunk on February 14.
Sentencing Recorder Paul Isaacs told Barrett: “The fact it was one blow tells me that you were not thinking. That night you were not anticipating the harm you did. Although the harm was great, your culpability was less. On any view this was loutish, thuggish behaviour. Breathe a heavy sigh of relief. You are not going to prison.”
He ordered Barrett should be given a 30-week suspended prison sentence to hang over him for 12 months. He was given 12 months superivision and ordered to attend an alcohol treatment programme, and pay £2,500 to his victim at a rate of £200 per month.
Barrett walked free from court.