A ROBBER who punched a man who refused to give him a bottle of beer has been jailed for two years.

At around 6pm on May 7 last year, Damien Ison, 20, of Walter Street, Newtown was with a gang of friends at Northgate Ponds when John Pheasant and friend Gary Owens walked past with a crate of lager.

Claire Jones, prosecuting, said:

“They saw a group of four sat on the railway bridge, one of whom was Mr Ison.

“They asked for some of the lager, they refused and carried on walking. The group followed the pair.

“The defendant said ‘you may as well give us a bottle each or we’re going to take the lot’. The defendant then punched Mr Pheasant on the nose.”

Mr Owens had been struck by another male causing him to drop the lager and run.

Mr Pheasant was later treated in hospital.

Ison was identified by a member of the public who witnessed the attack and was arrested after being seen carrying the box of lager.

Blood stains on Ison’s shorts proved to belong to the victim.

Ison, who has convictions for criminal damage, public disorder, drug possession and shoplifting, was drunk at the time.

James Bagby, defending, said: “He did not set out that evening to commit robbery. He is a person who suffers from physical and mental health problems.”

Judge Stephen Clarke told Ison: “This offence is more serious than any you have been involved in.

“The two gentlemen in question did no more than just go about their ordinary business.

“You should be able to walk around that part of Chester without being attacked.”

Judge Clarke sentenced Ison to 27 months in prison.