A youth was knocked out in a Frodsham pub by another young man who was angry that he was talking to his best friend’s ex-girlfriend.
Kane Powell had met the victim, Ben Brown, just once before when he had been annoyed that Mr Brown had put his hand around Powell’s girlfriend’s waist while posing for a photograph.
When they met by chance two months later in February last year in the pub, Powell “to quote your own text ‘flipped’ and you launched an unprovoked attack on Ben Brown”, said Judge Rachel Smith.
“After pushing and shouting at him you punched him once to the face hard enough to knock him unconscious briefly and broke his cheek bone which has had an on-going effect on him,” she told him.
The victim, who was 16 but is now 18, had to undergo surgery to have a titanium plate put in his cheekbone and Liverpool Crown Court heard he still has some numbness to his face, missed three weeks schooling and had to resign from his part-time job.
He is now reluctant to take part in contact sports such as rugby, had nightmares, a sense of vulnerability and is anxious when out in public, said Simon Mintz, prosecuting.
Twenty-year-old Powell, of Warrencroft, Runcorn, denied inflicting grievous bodily harm during the incident on February 12 last year in the Mersey View pub in Frodsham but was convicted after a trial.
His barrister, Ravi Sidhu, told the judge that Powell, who has no previous convictions, was “genuinely sorry” that the victim was hurt and was remorseful.
But Judge Smith said that she was “unpersuaded” about his remorse and that a letter Powell had written to her asserted remorse but re-stated he had been acting in self-defence and “was still fighting for his innocence. I see no evidence of remorse”.
Mr Sidhu said that Powell’s partner is expecting their first baby later this week and he is hoping to study philosophy at Liverpool University this autumn. “He is very unlikely to be seen in a courtroom as a defendant again,” he added.
Imposing a two year community order and ordering him to carry out 240 hours unpaid work the judge said: “You could have caused death or a life changing brain injury to Ben Brown when you hit him. I am entirely satisfied that you hit him because you lost your temper.
“It is time for you to really address your behaviour and how you react to others around you in circumstances where you feel people are not obeying your instructions.”
She told Powell, “You may well regret the injury caused but I am not satisfied you are remorseful for your own actions.”
The judge said that text messages sent by Powell after the incident admitted he had lost his temper and assaulted Mr Brown. “Your actions that night and subsequently betray an extremely immature attitude and an extremely immature response.”
The victim had done nothing wrong and Powell had no right to dictate to him and the girl he was talking to what they could or could not do, added Judge Smith.
A five year restraining order was imposed on the defendant to keep away from Mr Brown.