A drunken thug put a man in hospital with a fractured jaw after taking offence at a comment made about people from Aylesbury.
Liam Lumley, 25, delivered a single punch to Daniel Leonard’s left cheek, sending him sprawling across the table in the smoking area of the White Hart in Exchange Street.
Lumley, of Park Street, Aylesbury arrived at the pub drunk and was refused alcohol at the bar due to being on the police ‘Pubwatch’ scheme, where officers alert landlords to potential troublemakers.
Prosecutor Nigel Ogborne said CCTV footage recorded on the night of Friday, June 13 last year, shows Lumley and Mr Leonard chatting and shaking hands minutes before the attack, but things quickly turned sour when Mr Leonard ‘made a derogatory remark about gingers’ and said ‘people living in Aylesbury are pussies’.
Lumley does not have ginger hair but it is believed one of his friends who was with him does.
Mr Leonard was taken to Stoke Mandeville Hospital with a fracture to the right jaw bone, but was referred to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital for surgery.
In his victim impact statement, Mr Leonard claimed the surgery involved the fitting of a metal plate which ‘will be there for life’.
Defence lawyer Matthew Nash said: “There was some provocation but that is no excuse for his behaviour.
“Mr Lumley and Mr Leonard were getting on very well before the remark but in a moment of stupidity and madness, he struck out.
“There was no pre-meditation, this was a one punch matter and he pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court at the first opportunity.
“He accepts that he has a problem with alcohol.”
Lumley, who works as an apprentice plumber in Aylesbury, has previous convictions for stealing a bottle of champagne from Kings Wines in Parton Road and using threatening words and behaviour.
Sitting at Amersham Law Courts, Judge Justin Cole told him: “You have pleaded guilty to a very serious offence. You fractured another man’s jaw with one vicious punch.
“Some people have lost their lives when their head hits the ground. You were lucky that this was not a fatality.
“You had been banned from being in that public house, and under the influence of drink you are clearly a completely antisocial and violent man.
As he summed up, one of Lumley’s friends sat in the public gallery was heard saying: “He’s laughing, he got away with it!”
Lumley, who admitted one count of GBH, was handed a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 150 hours of community service.
He has to pay £1,500 compensation to Mr Leonard as well as a victim surcharge of £100.
He will be on curfew for the next three months, meaning he will have to wear an electronic tag and not leave the house between 8pm and 5am on weekdays and 6pm and 5am on weekends.
Judge Cole said: “If you breach any of these conditions, I will not hesitate to activate the prison sentence.”