Ipswich man thumped innocent bystander by mistake while being attacked, court told

Silent Street, Ipswich.

Silent Street, Ipswich. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A 27-year-old man who was being attacked, punched an innocent bystander in a case of mistaken identity, a court heard.

Marc Gooch, of Defoe Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty at the town’s magistrates’ court to assault on May 15 last year.

The late night incident occurred outside the Labour Club in Silent Street, Ipswich.

Prosecutor David Bryant said the victim was in his 60s and holding his wife’s handbag while she was inside the club using the toilet.

There was a commotion and the man saw fists were flying, but did not know what was happening.

A male - Gooch - lunged at him, swore and punched him several times to the head, knocking him to the ground.

Gooch admitted to police he had hit the man, but said he was the victim of an attack himself and had not known the person he had struck.

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The 27-year-old claimed his actions were in self-defence. He was upset and apologetic over his mistake.

The court heard Gooch said he was very scared that night and must have lashed out at anyone around him.

Gooch said he genuinely believed at the time that the man he punched was with a group which had attacked him. However, he subsequently accepted he was wrong.

Mr Bryant said at least one person was prosecuted for the assault on Gooch.

It was was said Gooch’s victim was left embarrassed after the unprovoked assault while he was minding his own business.

Dino Barricella, representing Gooch, said his client had been assaulted by two men that night and was genuinely scared.

Gooch ended up having to have six weeks off work as a result of the incident.

Gooch told the court: “I just want to say sorry to the victim because that was a genuine mistake. I was on the floor getting seven bells kicked out of me. I am deeply sorry.”

District Judge Celia Dawson acknowledged there were exceptional circumstances.

She ordered Gooch to pay his victim £250 compensation and fined him £100. He must also pay £85 costs and £20 to the victims’ fund.