A man punched his former boss and knocked him unconscious in a pub smoking area on Christmas Eve after he had previously been sacked. The punch left the victim with a 4cm gash to the back of his head and a bleed on the brain.
James Newman, 24, assaulted 58-year-old Martin Power at a pub in Cardiff in the early hours of December 24 last year after claiming his victim told him to “f*** off”. The pair were seen on CCTV initially embracing but came to blows seconds later.
A sentencing hearing at Cardiff crown court on Wednesday heard Mr Power had been out socializing with friends and went for a cigarette when he was approached by Newman, who he had previously employed. Prosecutor Gareth James said there were issues with the defendant’s performance which resulted in him being fired.
Mr Power described Newman as being “rude” to him during past meetings but said the defendant was “in his face” and punched him suddenly without provocation, causing the victim to fall to the floor unconscious. The next thing he remembered was waking up in hospital.
Newman, of Curbar Close, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, was arrested and in his police interview he admitted he had been intoxicated. He said he remembered Mr Power telling him to “f*** off” at which point he “lost it” and punched him. He later pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
The victim suffered a cut to the back of his head as well as an injury to the muscles in his neck and a subarachnoid head injury. In a victim personal statement, Mr Power said he woke up in a daze in hospital covered in blood and didn’t know what had happened. He said the injury ruined his Christmas and he has since felt his confidence has been knocked, due to him not wanted to leave the house because he felt vulnerable, angry and embarrassed.
In mitigation, solicitor-advocate Derrick Gooden said his client realised he and the victim could have been in a worse position and conceded alcohol was the main factor in the assault with no animosity on the defendant’s part. He said Newman was employed and had a long-term partner who he was saving with to get a mortgage.
Sentencing, Recorder Andrew Hammond said: “There are young men like you who have delivered a single punch in the heat of the moment and found themselves in the dock charged with manslaughter. I don’t know if you have reflected that you are not in that position due to luck rather than your judgement.”
Newman was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work, a 10 day rehabilitation activity requirement, to pay £500 in compensation and £530 court costs.