South Wales Evening Post - - FRONT PAGE - JA­SON EVANS @Evans­the­crime • 01792 545549 ja­[email protected]­

A PUB-GOER was left with a deep gash to his face need­ing 16 stitches after be­ing at­tacked out­side a Swansea pub, a court has heard.

The man was punched to the ground fol­low­ing an ar­gu­ment be­tween drinkers in a Wind Street bar.

And a judge has ques­tioned why the at­tacker had not been charged with a more se­ri­ous of­fence than the one he faced.

Swansea Crown Court heard vi­o­lence flared after a group of cus­tomers were thrown out of the pop­u­lar Pep­per­mint bar shortly be­fore 3am on Novem­ber 25 last year.

Dyed Thomas, pros­e­cut­ing, said as the group left the premises 21-yearold Ian Whi­taker punched one of the men he had been ar­gu­ing with to the head, knock­ing him to the floor. He punched his vic­tim a num­ber of fur­ther times as he lay on the pave­ment, be­fore be­ing pulled away by door staff.

The court heard po­lice ar­rived mo­ments after the as­sault, and ar­rested Whi­taker at the scene.

In his sub­se­quent in­ter­view he told of­fi­cers he “saw red” dur­ing the row, and ran after his vic­tim as he was leav­ing the bar and punched him.

The vic­tim was later taken to Mor­ris­ton Hospi­tal where he needed 16 stitches to a “deep lac­er­a­tion” above an eye.

In an im­pact state­ment read to the court the vic­tim, who works as a carer in a chil­dren’s res­i­den­tial home, said the in­ci­dent still played on his mind, and he was fear­ful of be­ing left with a per­ma­nent scar.

Whi­taker, of Ar­gyle Street, Sand­fields, Swansea, had pre­vi­ously pleaded guilty to as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm (ABH) when he ap­peared in the dock for sen­tenc­ing.

The court heard he has no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.

Ian Wright, for Whi­taker, said the defendant felt he had left him­self and his fam­ily down by his ac­tions on the night in ques­tion.

He said his client recog­nised the part al­co­hol had played in the of­fence, and had since re­duced his con­sump­tion and avoided go­ing out on busy nights of the week.

Judge Keith Thomas said it was clear Whi­taker had cho­sen to con­tinue to dis­pute once out­side, and had punched his vic­tim to the ground.

He said the ap­pro­pri­ate sen­tence after trial would have been one of nine months prison – giv­ing the defendant credit for his guilty plea, that was re­duced to six months and was sus­pended for 12 months.

Whi­taker was also or­dered to com­plete 150 hours of un­paid work, and to pay his vic­tim £750 com­pen­sa­tion for the in­jury he in­flicted. He must also pay £530 to­wards the cost of the pros­e­cu­tion.

Judge Thomas ques­tioned why the as­sault had been charged as an ABH when a wound had clearly been in­flicted, and said it should rightly have been charged as the more se­ri­ous sec­tion 20 in­flict­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm in­stead.

The prose­cu­tor, Mr Thomas, said he agreed, and called the charge as it stood “plainly wrong”.

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