Brawlers spared jail after injuring man in Boxing Day punch-up outside Weston social club
PUBLISHED: 07:55 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 07:56 14 June 2019
Two Weston men have been given a 'last chance' and spared jail, after injuring a man in an 'ugly' Boxing Day brawl.
Connor Baker, aged 24, and 25-year-old Jamie Stephenson were given a reprieve at Bristol Crown Court on Monday after making 'some progress' since leaving Tyrone Anderson with a fractured forehead 18 months ago.
The incident took place outside Weston Social Club in Devonshire Road on December 26, 2017 at about 9.45pm, as an argument started in the bar before boiling over outside.
Baker, of Bournville Road, and Stephenson 'squared up' to Mr Anderson before the former punched him in the face. Stephenson followed suit with another blow to the victim's head as he fell to the ground.
Stephenson, of Coleridge Road, was accused of kicking Anderson in the head - but he denied this.
Co-defendant Lawrence Taylor, who left Anderson's brother Mark with a fractured skull and in need of emergency surgery after a scrap on the other side of the street, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm in January and is serving a 20-month prison sentence.
Baker and Stephenson pleaded guilty to affray last year after denying grievous bodily harm and - after being impressed by their changed behaviour and reduced drink and drug use - Judge James Patrick opted to defer their sentences until this week to see if they could keep up their new ways.
They were handed nine-month prison sentences, suspended for 18 months.
Giles Nelson, prosecuting, said: "They went outside and they were squaring up to each other.
"Tyrone Anderson was pushing them away and from the footage that was shown it was then Baker who threw a punch at him. Stephenson then punched him before running and kicking him in the head.
"As far as Tyrone Anderson's injuries were concerned, he suffered a large cut on the cheek, a laceration above his eyebrow and a CT scan revealed a complex fracture of his forehead."
Mark Worsley, defending Stephenson, said: "He is a young man who is addressing the real issue which is alcohol and cocaine. He claims he hasn't taken a drop since this offence. He is still taking cannabis.
"He has been working flat out and he has saved about £1,200. He wants help getting off cannabis. He is working hard and building a sustainable future."
Baker's defence lawyer, Sam Jones, said: "He has avoided binge drinking. He has remained clean from drugs for the past six months."
Judge Patrick told the defendants he was 'rather underwhelmed' by their progress and 'there is still work to do'.
He added: "I have to sentence you both for an ugly piece of antisocial behaviour.
"You had no business in behaving the way you did.
"You have both made some progress in ridding yourselves of binge drinking and cocaine use.
"This is your last chance. If you do not comply you will expect to go to prison. If I see either of you again it will be straight inside."
Both men must complete more than 100 hours of unpaid work. Stephenson was instructed to pay £740 in costs and compensation. Baker must pay £1,240.