Aldershot News & Mail

Attacker avoids jail after punch that shattered bouncer’s jaw


A DRUNK reveller who landed a single punch in the face of a doorman in Camberley, breaking his jaw in two places, has avoided an immediate jail sentence.

Thomas Langley, 19, of Frogmore Park Lane in Blackwater, hit bouncer Mark Cooper outside Tru nightclub in December, ‘ruining the life’ of his victim, a court heard.

Langley turned violently on Mr Cooper when the father-of-four asked him to leave because of his drunken behaviour. Mr Cooper required extensive surgery to put his jaw back together – and is still feeling the effects.

Langley admitted the punch at the scene and pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm (GBH) at the earliest opportunit­y, in court on June 13. During sentencing at Guildford Crown Court last Friday, Langley was sentenced to 30 weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

The judge, Recorder Richard Prior, said Langley – previously of good character – should consider the effect on Mr Cooper of his ‘very serious offence’.

“That one heavy punch had extremely serious repercussi­ons,” he said. “It was unprovoked, unjustifie­d and unwarrante­d. It has, without exaggerati­on, ruined his life.

“One hopes he’ll be able to get his life together and resume something resembling what he had before you punched him. At this point in time, however, it looks very serious.”

Prosecutor Rachel Davies said the offence took place on December 12 while Mr Cooper was working as a member of door staff at the nightclub in Camberley High Street. She explained Mr Cooper told Langley to go home after he started making threats to the door team before pushing him away when Langley clenched his fists.

It was then Langley hit Mr Cooper to the left side of the jaw said Ms Davies.

In a statement read out by Ms Davies, Mr Cooper said he was no longer able to work and provide for his four children.

Mr Cooper said he felt ‘permanentl­y scarred’ having lost feeling in his lips, which meant he no longer felt a connection with his children when he kissed them good night, nor was he able to eat his Christmas dinner.

Defending Langley, Lance Whiteford said the teenager, a trainee plumber, accepted Mr Cooper had suffered ‘very unpleasant’ injuries. “The blame doesn't lie anywhere else than with this young man,” he said. “He was drunk, lost his temper and landed a punch withith devastatin­g effects.” Mr Whiteford added Langley was typically a polite, hard-working young man, who had suffered difficulti­es in his childhood. Recorder Prior said Langley’s age, previous good character, prospects and early guilty plea were enough to spare him an immediate custodial sentence. Langley was also sentenced to 170 hours’ unpaid work, a compensati­on order of £1,200, payable to Mr Cooper, and a victim surcharge of £100.

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