20-year-old avoids jail after one ‘haymaker-style’ punch knocked man unconscious

Unit 17 in Ipswich. The former Liquid nightclub.

Unit 17 in Ipswich. The former Liquid nightclub.


A warehouse operative who knocked another man unconscious with one “haymaker-style” punch outside an Ipswich nightclub has avoided a prison sentence.

Sonny Dorrian, 20, of Homers Crescent, Newton Abbot, Devon, pleaded guilty to assault by beating before magistrates in Ipswich on Tuesday.

Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard how Dorrian travelled to Ipswich on August 10 this year to meet up with some friends in the town.

He began drinking around 6pm and consumed "a large amount of alcohol" prior to the incident - which happened at 1.40am on Sunday, August 11 outside the Unit 17 nightclub in Cardinal Park.

The court heard how Dorrian came out of the nightclub and following a short discussion with the victim and another man - Dorrian punched Joseph Grimwood, knocking him unconscious.

Dorrian then turned and ran from the scene.

A police officer, who was dealing with a unrelated incident across the street, saw the assault and chased Dorrian on foot.

Dorrian only stopped when he reached a dead end, the court heard.

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Mr Grimwood suffered a bloody nose and was later taken to hospital.

Jakki Upton, defending, said Dorrian admitted the punch but disputed it was an unprovoked attack.

"He came to Suffolk to see friends," she said. "When Mr Dorrian came out of the nightclub, he saw the victim talking to the doorman.

"He says the victim became aggressive to his friend and does not agree it was an unprovoked attack.

"He cannot remember exactly what he was drinking but by 1.40am had consumed a large amount of alcohol.

"He just snapped and punched the victim and then panicked and ran. He is ashamed of what he has done."

Mrs Upton added that Dorrian had recently suffered a double family bereavement, and was using alcohol as a way to deal with his grief.

Dorrian was sentenced to a 12-month community order and ordered to pay £500 in compensation.

He was also ordered to pay £105 in costs, a £90 victim surcharge and to complete up to 15 rehabilitation activity days.

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