Purse row ends with knockout blow

A man who knocked a stranger out 'stone cold' at a car boot sale at the Trinity Park could face jail.

IPSWICH: A man who knocked a stranger out 'stone cold' at a car boot sale at the Trinity Park could face jail.

Jerzy Cholewinski, 52, of Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, punched the man in the face after a row broke out over a missing purse.

The victim, Christian Thompson, 44, was left with a split chin and a bruised neck after Cholewinski lashed out, having accused Mr Thompson's wife, Jordan, of stealing his daughter's purse.

Gareth Davies, prosecuting, told South East Suffolk Magistrates Court yesterday, Cholewinski's daughter and Mrs Thompson had been chatting as they browsed stalls at the sale on September 27.

When Cholewinski's daughter later realised she had lost her purse, she accused Mrs Thompson of stealing it.

Mr Davies said: “Mrs Thompson invited the defendant's daughter to search her bags and no purse was found.

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“She was confronted several times and it was beginning to get a bit tiresome.”

As Mr and Mrs Thompson were leaving the park, they were again approached by Cholewinski and his daughter.

Mr Davies said: “The defendant demanded the money his daughter had lost be returned and, without any warning, delivered a punch to the victim.

“It was a very hard blow, seen by an independent witness who said the victim was knocked out, stone cold.”

Mr Thompson, who has heart problems and suffered a heart attack several years ago, fell straight to the floor and was left with cuts inside his mouth and bruises on his face.

As paramedics treated Mr Thompson and took him to hospital, police arrested Cholewinski, who admitted assault causing actual bodily harm at.

Mr Davies said: “He said he honestly believed the victim had stolen his daughter's purse but was remorseful and regretted his actions.”

Roger Thomson, in mitigation, said Cholewinski, a Polish national, had lived in the UK for five years with his wife and daughter and was a factory worker.

It was not a premeditated attack. “This was not intended,” he said.

Peter West, presiding magistrate, adjourned sentencing until January 20 for probation reports to be prepared.

He said: “We are not ruling out custody.”

Cholewinski will remain on unconditional bail.

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