A man has been jailed for 14 months after he punched another outside a Marsden pub causing him to fracture his skull when he went down to the ground.
Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday that Adam Hartley went to the Carriage House Public house on September 27 with a group of friends to celebrate the birthday of one of them.
Philip Adams, prosecuting, said as the evening progressed the group became rowdy and things escalated. There was an argument which spilled over outside the pub involving about six people.
The complainant, Ronald Craven, lived in a caravan on land behind the public house and the 58-year-old was a regular in the pub.
He went out to see what was happening and was standing with his hands in his pockets when Hartley approached him. One witness described him as “jogging” up to him and punching him once in the face with a clenched fist.
That caused him to fall backwards and hit his head on the ground. When challenged about why he had hit Mr Craven, Hartley said he thought the man was going to hit one of his friends.
Mr Adams said another witness described Hartley, who had been drinking, as still spoiling for a fight and shouting “come on.”
Mr Craven, 58, had no recollection of events until waking up in hospital a week and a half later.
A CT scan showed he had a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain after he was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. He was subsequently transferred to Leeds General Infirmary and was in hospital for a total of three weeks.
The court was told he had problems working as a groundsman as a result of his driving licence being revoked for several months because of his condition.
Hartley had rung the public house and apologised for what had happened. He had attended Oldham police station two days after the incident and said he had no memory of hitting the complainant.
Tim Hopley, representing Hartley, said things had escalated out of control that night and he regretted throwing the single punch. He was genuinely upset about what had happened to the other man as a result.
Hartley, 29 of Delph Lane, Oldham admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm to Mr Craven.
Recorder David Gordon said he had read glowing references about Hartley but there had to be a jail term for such a serious offence.