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Man escapes jail for nasty attack

PUBLISHED: 15:10 06 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 March 2010

BIRTHDAY celebrations turned into a nightmare after an Ipswich man drunkenly lashed out at a nightclubber in a "nasty" unprovoked attack, a court heard.

BIRTHDAY celebrations turned into a nightmare after an Ipswich man drunkenly lashed out at a nightclubber in a "nasty" unprovoked attack, a court heard.

Jobless Mark Barton was ordered by magistrates to pay £750 compensation to victim Carl Jarrett who was celebrating his 25th birthday when he was punched on the forehead at Liquid nightclub.

The victim's face was covered in blood and he was taken to hospital where he had to have stitches to his forehead.

The assault on December 29, left him with a permanent scar and his teeth were also chipped in the attack.

Father of two Barton – who was also celebrating his birthday – admitted punching Jarrett and was given an 18-month community rehabilitation order for common assault.

In sentencing Barton at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court the chairman of the bench, Jack Chapman, told him: "One blow caused a lot of physical damage to a fellow citizen and you must pay for it."

The court heard Jarrett was with his friends on the dance floor when he asked a woman to take a group picture.

He became aware of Barton's presence who raised his hand and struck him on the forehead above his nose," said Gareth Davies, prosecuting. "It was a hard blow that knocked him to the floor," he added.

Mr Davies described the incident as a 'nasty, unprovoked assault.'

"A number of witnesses testified to the fact it was unprovoked," he said. "The victim did nothing to upset the defendant. There was no conversation between them at all."

Jarrett's clothes – given to him as a birthday present – were covered in blood and his camera damaged in the incident.

Injuries included bruising to his right temple and temporarily restricted movement of his jaw. He also had swelling and bruising to the edge of his nose which worsened previous breathing problems, which have to be treated. He was left with permanent damage to his forehead.

Door staff took Jarrett to a first aid room where he received treatment for his injuries.

Meanwhile jobless Barton, of Ainslie Road, Ipswich, was ejected from the club and pursued by two of the victim's friends. The pair caught up with him, a mele erupted and police arrested Barton who was taken down to the police station.

Stephen Colman, mitigating, said Barton was not a regular drinker or nightclubber so had found himself in unfamiliar circumstances at Liquid nightclub.

"He doesn't normally drink and hasn't done so for four years," said Mr Colman. "He got caught up in the atmosphere of it."

The court heard 25-year-old Barton was on the dance floor when he felt something behind him, but couldn't pinpoint what it was.

"Some kind of atmosphere behind him cause him to spin round," said Mr Colman, adding Barton couldn't explain why it had happened.

"He remembered being chased [outside the club] and falling to the ground," he said.

"He had an injury to his knee as a result of the further mele outside the club."

In sentencing Barton, Mr Chapman told him magistrates had guidelines to follow and the compensation was very high for permanent scarring and damage to teeth.


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