Community order for man who ‘lost the plot’ in Torrington brawl
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A Conservative Club customer who was thrown out after a brawl sneaked back in through a side door and attacked one of the men he had been fighting with.
Toby Parker was ejected by staff and regulars at the club in Torrington, North Devon, but 'lost the plot' and punched victim Harrison Taffs in the face.
The violence started in the early evening when Parker went to the club after having a couple of drinks elsewhere and barged into the bar area next to Mr Taffs.
There was already ill feeling between the two men and when Mr Taffs offered his hand to Parker he refused to shake it. Mr Taffs then hit him starting a brawl involving several customers and bar staff.
The two men were separated and Parker was thrown out. CCTV showed him sat on a bench in the beer garden before going back in through a side entrance and heading straight for Mr Taffs.
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He was left with a cut on his eyebrow, a swollen lip and a black eye. Another customer who was knocked over as he tried to break up the second brawl suffered a broken ankle.
Parker, 22, of Old Chapel Gardens, Winkleigh, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and was ordered to do 140 hours unpaid community work and pay £300 costs by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.
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He told him:"You were clearly seeking to intimidate and antagonise and acting like a high school bully. You re-entered after you were told to leave by bar staff, pushing past other customers.
"You entered and punched Mr Taffs to the head and face. It was clearly pre-meditated and aggravated by being on licenced premises and in the presence of many others, one of whom fractured his ankle while trying to stop the attack."
Miss Christine Hart, prosecuting, said the attack happened at around 7.45 pm on May 19 last year at the club where Mr Taffs was drinking with friends.
CCTV showed Parker arriving and pushing between Mr Taffs and a friend who was with him at the bar. There was a confrontation in which Parker refused to shake hands and Mr Taffs hit him twice.
A melee ensued which ended in Parker being ejected and spending a couple of minutes outside before returning by another entrance and carrying out the attack.
Mr Richard Crabb, defending, said Parker is a hard working welder with no previous convictions who is sorry for what he did. He denies slamming Mr Taffs head on the bar counter.
He said:"In his own words to the police, he lost the plot and was fuming. It was out of character and there has been no further trouble in the year or so since this happened."
Mr Crabb said the long delay in bringing the case to court arose because Parker was also charged with causing grievous bodily harm to the man who broke his ankle, but this was dropped before the case was due to come to trial.