Man suffers brain injury in club Boxing Day brawl
PUBLISHED: 08:03 31 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:33 31 December 2018
Two Weston-super-Mare men will have to wait six months to find out if they will go to prison despite ‘deserving’ to spend time behind bars for their roles in a fight.
Connor Baker, aged 24, and Jamie Stephenson, aged 25, saw their sentences deferred on Friday until June 14 at Bristol Crown Court after Judge James Patrick gave them ‘a second chance’.
Both men pleaded guilty to affray and not guilty to grievous bodily harm.
A third defendant, Lawrence Taylor, failed to show up to court and will be sentenced in a later hearing.
The incident took place at Weston Social Club, in Devonshire Road, on Boxing Day last year where the trio had been drinking when they were involved in a verbal altercation at the bar with brothers Mark and Tyrone Anderson.
A mass brawl ensued and spilled out into the car park and Drove Road at around 9.45pm.
CCTV footage showed one definitive blow by Taylor’s foot to Mark’s head which caused him to go down to the floor.
Mark suffered a skull fracture and bleeding on the surface of his brain and lost consciousness in the ambulance.
He underwent two hours of emergency neurosurgery but in a victim impact statement he explained he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is ‘no longer the same person’.
He said: “As a result of my injuries I suffer from PTSD and have had my medication dosage increased to help me sleep better.
“I am a single parent caring for my three children and they didn’t understand why they were not able to see their dad when I was under 24-hour care supervision.
“This ordeal has had a huge impact on me and my whole family, I used to be confident and outgoing, now I struggle with daily tasks and social situations and am no longer the same person.
“I am working hard in group therapy sessions and with basic memory tasks which I struggle with, specialists do not know if I will ever fully recover.”
Judge Patrick said Stephenson was ‘a troubled man’ but was ‘impressed’ with his changed behaviour in the past 12 months.
He added: “Both of you deserve to go inside for this and this behaviour has got to stop.
“I am giving you both a chance, I am impressed with what I have read on your improvements over the past year.”
Judge Patrick ordered the defendants to pay compensation and costs to the social club and are required to undertake regular probation sessions.
CORRECTION: The Mercury would like to apologise for an error made in an earlier version of this story in which it was stated two other men were responsible for stamping upon Mr Anderson’s head. We would like to make clear Connor Baker and Jamie Stephenson were not responsible for that particular act. We are sorry for the mistake.