South Molton pub attacker must pay compensation after kicking customer in head

Exeter Crown Court

Exeter Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A builder has been ordered to pay compensation to a pub customer who he kicked in the head during an argument over a £50 debt.

Daniel Bain was filmed by a passer-by on a phone as he attacked victim Nicholas Irving on the road outside the Kings Arms pub in South Molton.

Mr Irving had either been knocked to the ground or fallen and was lying half on and half off the pavement when Bain kicked him.

He went on to deliver a series of punches to his face and upper body and Mr Irving needed seven stitches to a cut on his eyebrow.

He wrote a victim impact statement which said he fears he will be scarred for life and is now nervous about going out at night.

He said: “I remember asking and begging him to stop. How one human being can do this to another is beyond me, especially as there is a big difference in age.”

Bain, aged 35, of Duke Street, South Molton, admitted causing actual bodily harm and was jailed for 16 months, suspended for two years by Recorder Mr Timothy Kenefick at Exeter Crown Court.

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He was also ordered to pay £500 compensation, do 25 days of rehabilitation activities, and undertake an electronically monitored alcohol treatment programme.

The Recorder told him: “I have seen the footage and this was undoubtedly a nasty attack but I am not satisfied that you were the initiator of this incident.

“I sentence you on the basis that Mr Irving may have jumped on your back but you then punched and kicked him on the ground. It provides no excuse.

“He suffered a nasty cut above his right eye and needed seven stitches. He had to take time off work and it has affected his self-confidence.”

Miss Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said both men had been drinking at the Kings Arms on the night of August 20 last year and Mr Irving asked Bain to repay £50 which he had lent him.

Bain said he did not owe any money and this led to the incident outside the pub as both men were leaving. Sound on the footage recorded Bain saying ‘don’t jump on my back, you f***ing pr**k’ as he walked away.

Mr Deni Matthews, defending, said Bain is a self-employed builder who had to borrow money from his family and friends during the first lockdown last year.

He acted in excessive self-defence during this incident, which has made him realise that he needs help to reduce his consumption of alcohol.

He has significant family responsibilities and helps support his three children.

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