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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Man’s jaw shattered by punch in Carlisle bar

A man needed surgery to fix a metal plate in his shattered jaw after a stranger punched him in the face in a Carlisle bar.

Aaron Robert Law, 21, had just removed one of his friends from a minor scuffle on the dancefloor at Walkabout, in Botchergate, when 25-year-old scaffolder Matthew Sanderson struck him without warning.

“By his own admission Mr Law was very drunk – as was everyone else involved,” prosecutor Dick Binstead told Carlisle Crown Court.

“He became aware of an incident involving his friend and he intervened to remove him from the fray. The next he remembers is being outside, spitting blood.”

Sanderson, of Orton Road, Carlisle, left the scene after talking to a policeman who did not realise he was the man responsible.

He was arrested soon afterwards by two other officers who recognised him from the description of the “distinctive” clothes witnesses said the attacker had been wearing.

Mr Law was taken to hospital with a double fracture to his jaw and needed an operation next day.

He has now recovered, but what happened has left him lacking confidence and “constantly looking over his shoulder when he is out,” Mr Binstead said.

Sanderson admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on him and was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay him £1,000 compensation and £250 court costs.

He was also put under a curfew from 7pm to 5am every night for the next four months.

The court heard that after his arrest Sanderson insisted he had not started the violence, though he admitted punching Mr Law after getting caught up in it.

His defence barrister Greg Hoare said Sanderson accepted he could have gone to prison for what he did.

“He knows it was a very unsavoury incident and he accepts there is a price to pay for it,” he said.

Passing sentence, Judge Paul Batty QC, the honorary Recorder of Carlisle, said the incident had been fuelled by “the industrial amount of alcohol” Sanderson had consumed.

He told Sanderson: “You were lashing out with your fists and your unfortunate victim was caught in the crossfire.”

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