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Drink was the root of attack, court told

PUBLISHED: 22:00 02 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:06 03 March 2010

FORMER bricklayer James Patten repeatedly punched a man in a drunken unprovoked attack, a court has been told.

Depressed Patten, of Khartoum Road, Ipswich, got involved in the fracas after accusing the victim of sending upsetting letters to a female friend, prosecutor Ros Jones told magistrates.

FORMER bricklayer James Patten repeatedly punched a man in a drunken unprovoked attack, a court has been told.

Depressed Patten, of Khartoum Road, Ipswich, got involved in the fracas after accusing the victim of sending upsetting letters to a female friend, prosecutor Ros Jones told magistrates.

The victim – who still hadn't fully recovered a month later – received medical treatment for his injuries which included a cut on the nose, grazing under the left eye, a split lower lip and bruising on his body.

"He was visibly shaking," said Mrs Jones. "His nose was bleeding and he had blood all over his face and clothes."

South East Suffolk Magistrates' heard that a month later the victim had difficulty sleeping and had epileptic fits following the attack by the former Northgate School pupil.

But Mrs Jones added there was no medical evidence to say the victim wasn't suffering these fits beforehand.

Roger Stewart, mitigating, said 24-year-old jobless Patten, who admitted assault, couldn't recall the events of that evening.

"There was an altercation between them over the question of these letters," said Mr Stewart, before adding inquiries revealed the woman didn't find the man's letters upsetting.

The court heard Patten started an apprenticeship as a bricklayer after he left school.

"It went extremely well until he started consuming alcohol," said Mr Stewart.

He became depressed and even made an attempt on his life.

"The cause of his problems is his alcohol abuse which he accepts," said Mr Stewart.

In sentencing magistrates told Patten: "Not only was it an unprovoked attack. But you had drunk so much you felt you were not responsible for your actions and you caused the victim some distressing injuries, which made him go on suffering after the event."

Patten was given a community rehabilitation order and ordered to pay £100 compensation and £20 towards prosecution costs.

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