Judge jails fitness instructor to ‘send a message out’ after late night attack saw man’s skull fractured in Ipswich

The attack happened after the pair had been out at Revolution in Ipswich. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The attack happened after the pair had been out at Revolution in Ipswich. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR - Credit: Archant

An Essex fitness instructor who fractured a man’s skull in a late night attack in Ipswich town centre has been jailed for two years.

Before Ipswich Crown Court was Lewis Jones, 27, of Park Road, Clacton, who denied inflicting grievous bodily harm on Daniel Buck on March 28 last year, but was found guilty by a jury after a four-day trial in December.

Sentencing Jones yesterday, Judge Rupert Overbury said: “Had you not punched Mr Buck his life wouldn’t have changed in the dramatic way it has.”

He said the attack had catastrophic consequences for Mr Buck, but accepted Jones had not intended to cause such serious injuries.

“You threw the punch and it landed and caused the damage it did and you must bear the responsibility. If you hadn’t punched him we wouldn’t be here today and he wouldn’t have life change consequences,” said the judge.

“I have to send a message out to young men who go out drinking and then engage in violence in the early hours of the morning in public that the courts will pass nothing other than custodial sentences.

“I have a duty to protect the public from this sort of behaviour and there has to be a deterrent element to the sentence,” he added.

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During the trial the court heard Mr Buck spent 10 days in hospital following the assault and in addition to a fractured skull also suffered partial hearing loss and bleeding on his brain.

Jones went to a police station a week after the attack, after the police issued a press release containing pictures of a suspect.

Jones claimed that he thought he was going to be hit by Mr Buck and struck him first in self-defence.

The court heard that Mr Buck had been in Revolution in Ipswich town centre with his partner and her brother and there had been a “fairly minor” incident with Jones.

The two men later saw each other in a nearby chip shop and Lewis suggested they went outside towards the bus station where the attack happened

Steven Dyble, for Jones, claimed his client had struck one blow after Mr Buck spat at him.

He said there had been no further blows while Mr Buck was on the ground.