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Amateur boxer knocked out fellow fighter outside Ipswich bar

Matthew Hopkins was handed a suspended sentence at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Matthew Hopkins was handed a suspended sentence at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

An amateur boxer who knocked a fellow competitor unconscious outside an Ipswich bar with a single punch has been ordered to pay £2,000 in compensation.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Matthew Hopkins, 33, of Eaton Gardens, Felixstowe, was drinking in Aurora Bar on the town’s Waterfront on March 30, 2019, when he began talking to another amateur boxer, Daryl Lea.

Hopkins and Mr Lea weren’t friends but were aware of each other through their mutual interest in amateur boxing, Wayne Cleaver, prosecuting, told the court.

“There appeared to some competition between them,” Mr Cleaver said.

The discussion ended and Hopkins left the bar and was joined outside by Mr Lea, the court heard.

Hopkins then punched Lea to the face once, knocking him unconscious.

Lea was taken to hospital with a 5cm long gash on the left side of his jawline and required stitches for the wound.

“Hopkins left the scene and went to another bar before getting a taxi and going home,” Mr Cleaver said.

Hopkins did contact Mr Lea the next day via Facebook to see how he was, the court heard.

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Hopkins was arrested on April 1, 2019, and was shown CCTV footage of the incident.

“He accepted that it was him and accepted what he had done,” Mr Cleaver added.

Hopkins pleaded guilty to a section 20 offence of grievous bodily harm (wounding without intent) at Ipswich Crown Court on July 17.

Peter Spary, defending, told the court there had been discussion over “who was more proficient at boxing”.

Sentencing on Wednesday, Judge Emma Peters told Hopkins someone with his talents should use them in the ring and “not on the streets and Waterfront bars of Ipswich”.

She said: “Someone who takes part in boxing should be more respectful of the use of violence.

“You punched him, a very competent punch and sent him to the floor, causing some quite nasty injuries.”

Hopkins was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay Mr Lea £2,000 in compensation.

He must also complete 30 Rehabilitation Activity (RA) days and 100 hours of unpaid work.

Addressing Hopkins, Judge Peters added: “Take your talents and use them lawfully and never unlawfully ever again.”


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