Barman’s sentence reduced on appeal

IPSWICH: A barman who punched a woman in the face before dragging her naked body into the street outside a bar in the town, has had his three-year sentence halved on appeal.

Jamie Scoulding, of Hyperion Court, was imprisoned at Ipswich Crown Court on December 11 last year after admitting attacking the woman in the Keo Bar Bistro in St Nicholas Street.

The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

But judges at London’s Criminal Appeal Court ruled the sentence was excessive and cut it to one of 18 months yesterday.

The court heard how Scoulding met the woman in the Milestone Beer House in Woodbridge Road last summer. The pair left the pub together and went to the Keo Bar Bistro where Scoulding worked.

He used his key to enter the building and the pair consumed more alcohol before having sex.

Judge James Wadsworth, QC, sitting with Lord Justice Aikens, told the court the pair began arguing and the woman threw a glass at Scoulding.

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He retaliated, punching her in the face causing her to fall backwards and hit her head, knocking her unconscious.

Judge Wadsworth said Scoulding had later described the punch as “one hell of a bang”.

Scoulding then dragged her, naked and unconscious, outside and on to the street, where he was seen by a passerby.

The victim suffered severe swelling to her face and bruising to her back, from where she had been dragged across the floor.

Scoulding told police in interview he had found her in the street, but later admitted he had assaulted her.

He was charged with rape and assault, but was cleared by a jury on the rape charge.

Judge Wadsworth read comments made by the judge who sentenced Scoulding, in which he said the victim’s injuries amounted to grievous bodily harm.

But the appeal judges said the sentence had to reflect the offence of actual bodily harm, which they said had a range of 36 weeks to two years, and agreed to reduce his jail term.

Judge Wadsworth said: “In the judgment of this court, the proper sentence, and the one which this court imposes, is one of 18 months.”