Saturday, 28 November 2015

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Sellafield worker to pay £4,000 for smashing man's jaw in nightclub attack

A Sellafield worker has been ordered to pay £4,000 compensation to a man whose jaw he smashed with a single punch in a Cumbrian nightclub.

Matthew Dixon, 21, knocked Jonathan Proud to the floor during the argument in Elements club in Jane Street, Workington, two days before last Christmas.

Mr Proud was picked up by door staff and taken to the cottage hospital in Workington, where the full extent of his injury was discovered.

He was then transferred to the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, where he had an operation to screw a metal plate into his shattered face.

He has made a good recovery but still feels occasional pain, especially in cold weather.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Dixon, of Spring Lea, High Seaton, Seaton, near Workington, pleaded guilty to assaulting him, causing actual bodily harm.

His not guilty plea to the more serious charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm was accepted by the prosecution.

Prosecuting counsel Benjamin Lawrence told the court that everyone involved in the trouble had been out drinking in Workington town centre.

“They had all had a great deal to drink and they were all drunk,” he said.

He said there had been “some sort of incident” with Dixon which had left Mr Proud on the floor in the Royal Oak pub earlier in the evening.

“As a result there was some simmering tension for the rest of the night,” he said.

The trouble flared up again when the two men happened to meet later on in Elements, Mr Lawrence said.

Mr Proud approached Dixon “without any sign of aggression” to talk about what had happened earlier, he said, but Dixon responded by punching him once to the face.

In mitigation, defence barrister Steve McNally said Dixon’s behaviour might have been affected by an accident he had in October 2007.

He gave no details of the accident or how it had impacted on Dixon’s personality, but he said: “It may well be that, but for that accident, he may well not be in the position he is in today.”

Mr McNally said Dixon had been so horrified by what happened that he had not been out drinking in Workington since.

Dixon was ordered to pay Mr Proud £4,000 compensation, made to do 100 hours unpaid community work and put under an 8pm to 6am curfew to keep him indoors at home for the next eight weeks.

Unlike most curfews Dixon’s cannot be electronically monitored because the tag on his ankle would interfere with sensitive equipment on the Sellafield site.

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Hughes QC told Dixon: “You have got to keep away from the sort of situation where, in drink, your temper may get the better of you.”


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