Sheringham man fined �1000 but spared jail
A Sheringham man who punched a teenager so hard it damaged his sight was spared jail by Cromer magistrates.Darren Fairclough, 22, punched Curt Watkinson in the left eye, injuring the iris so that it cannot open and close properly in response to light.
A Sheringham man who punched a teenager so hard it damaged his sight was spared jail by Cromer magistrates.
Darren Fairclough, 22, punched Curt Watkinson in the left eye, injuring the iris so that it cannot open and close properly in response to light.
According to medical reports made at the time, Mr Watkinson, who was 17 when the attack occurred, will have difficulty in areas where there is a lot of bright light.
Mr Watkinson was with his parents and girlfriend Emma Hollingworth, who was 16 at the time, in the Crown Pub in Sheringham on August 7 last year. After his parents left the couple stayed on until closing time to listen to a live band.
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Fergus Harald, prosecuting, told magistrates how on their way home the pair had been approached near the Robin Hood pub by three men, including Fairclough.
Fairclough asked Mr Watkinson for a drink of the lager he was carrying and, when he refused, smacked the can out of his hand and smashed him in the eye, Mr Harald said. Another man then hit him with a piece of wood.
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Although his girlfriend did not see the punch, they both later picked Fairclough out of an identity parade as one of the attackers, and CCTV photos show that he was in the area at the time.
At the trial Mr Watkinson gave evidence that the injury to his eye was ongoing, and a medical report was read out indicating that he would be 'sensitive to bright light conditions' as a result.
Mitigating, Kevin Batch said: 'Fairclough is a follower rather than a leader, he is susceptible to peer pressure and not a man with a propensity to violence.'
He pointed out that Fairclough had not been drinking, and stressed that he should be sentenced on the severity of the injuries he inflicted and not those he could have caused.
Fairclough, of Cooper Road, Sheringham, was convicted of one charge of battery at trial on April 7. He was sentenced last Thursday by Cromer magistrates to pay �1,000 compensation to Mr Watkinson and �455 in court costs. He must also complete a 12-month community order and do 250 hours unpaid work in the community.