Mar­tial arts in­struc­tor broke his stu­dent’s jaw with one punch

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

A MAR­TIAL arts in­struc­tor broke the jaw of one of his stu­dents – be­cause his vic­tim was not try­ing hard enough.

Jiu-jitsu ex­pert Ser­gio Robalo, a Por­tugese na­tional, has been jailed for the at­tack, which left the stu­dent se­ri­ously in­jured.

Ra­balo, aged 34, taught the mar­tial art at a gym in Burslem, Stoke, and Gra­ham Jenkins con­sid­ered him a friend.

But the de­fen­dant be­came an­gry be­cause of Gra­ham’s lack of com­mit­ment and de­cided to spar with him. He de­lib­er­ately in­flicted pain, Stoke Crown Court heard.

Gra­ham was shocked and, as he was get­ting changed, the de­fen­dant struck him with a pow­er­ful blow to the left side of his face.

Now Robalo, who has since been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for rob­bery in his home­land, has been locked up for a fur­ther two years.

Pros­e­cu­tor Fiona Cortese said Gra­ham Jenkins at­tended the jiu-jitsu gym in 2013. The de­fen­dant was the in­struc­tor. But Gra­ham’s at­ten­dance dropped off due to a be­reave­ment and he did not go for 10 days.

When he next popped in on Au­gust 20, he soon be­came tired and de­cided to rest, which an­noyed Robalo. Gra­ham took part in the next spar­ring match – but lost on pur­pose so he could again sit out.

“The de­fen­dant’s at­ti­tude changed,” said Miss Cortese. “He de­manded that Mr Jenkins sparred with him.

“Mr Jenkins was a white belt but the de­fen­dant was a black belt. In the vic­tim’s view, the de­fen­dant was far too ag­gres­sive.

“At one point he screamed out to end the spar and he was as­sisted with the re­moval of the de­fen­dant from him.

“Mr Jenkins walked to­wards the edge of the mat and started to get changed. The de­fen­dant said ‘If you ever do that again’, and punched him to the left side of his jaw once.

“One of his teeth frac­tured and he frac­tured his jaw in two places. Metal plates had to be in­serted.”

Robalo, of no fixed ad­dress, pleaded guilty to in­flict­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm.

Anis Ali, de­fend­ing, said the de­fen­dant was jailed for seven-and-ahalf years in 2016 for a rob­bery in Por­tu­gal in Septem­ber 2013 – a month af­ter this as­sault.

He added: “He felt the com­plainant was not tak­ing mat­ters se­ri­ously. He ob­jected to the ap­proach taken by the com­plainant. It was a sin­gle blow.”

Judge Paul Glenn told Robalo: “You are a highly skilled mar­tial arts prac­ti­tioner. As an in­struc­tor you have to con­trol your tem­per and use those skills ap­pro­pri­ately.

“Be­cause of Mr Jenkins’s lack of com­mit­ment you de­cided to spar with him. You went much too far.

“You knew he was much less able than you were and you de­lib­er­ately in­flicted pain upon him. You would not re­lease when he tapped out.

“As he was get­ting changed you ap­proached him again. He was al­ready shocked by your ear­lier be­hav­iour and you then struck him a con­sid­er­able blow to his jaw.”

Robalo will serve half the sen­tence and then be re­turned to Por­tu­gal to serve the rest of his sen­tence for the rob­bery.

> Ser­gio Robalo, who was jailed

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