Wednesday, October 30, 2013
A pub customer suffered horrendous facial injuries during a vicious attack in Honiton.
Drunken Troy Coaker, from Combe Raleigh, forced Timothy Luke to the ground and repeatedly punched him, in front of his wife.
The victim’s injuries were so severe that doctors initially thought he had a broken cheek bone.
In the end he escaped with bruising which closed one of his eyes and left one side of his face swollen after Coaker bent over him and landed a series of punches to his face.
The attack happened when a petty argument inside the Volunteer pub spilled out into violence in the centre of the town, which was captured by CCTV cameras.
Mr Luke was knocked to the ground after remonstrating with Coaker and a friend when he encountered them as he walked home from the Volunteer with his wife.
Coaker, 22, of Old Mill, Combe Raleigh, admitted causing actual bodily harm.
He was jailed for four months, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 180 hours’ unpaid community work and attend an alcohol awareness course, as part of two years’ supervision by Judge Phillip Wassall at Exeter Crown Court.
The judge said he was taking account of the fact that Coaker has spent two months in custody awaiting sentence after being arrested shortly after the attack in August.
He said: “The photographs of the victim are horrendous. You attacked this man in quite a savage way using only your fists but landing many blows when he was on the ground.
“You caused an injury thought initially to be a fractured cheek bone and you cut his eye. The offence was aggravated by alcohol, by its location and its timing in the early hours.
“Your history of completing community orders in the past is dreadful but you may be in a different place now with regards to how you work with the probation service.
“If you breach the terms of this order you will serve a lengthy term of custody.”
Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, said there had been a minor incident inside the Volunteer pub earlier in the evening which flared up when the victim and his wife encountered Coaker and a friend on the way home.
There was pushing and shoving on both sides which ended with Coaker attacking the victim while he was on the ground and punching him in the face.
He said Coaker had 33 previous convictions for 63 offences but they only included two assaults.
Nick Bradley, defending, said the CCTV showed Coaker had originally stepped in between the two other men and tried to act as peacemaker but then over-reacted to the incident.
He said the footage also showed that allegations by some witnesses that Coaker had kicked Mr Luke when he was on the ground were not correct.
He said Coaker now appreciates he will benefit from working with probation and is keen to undertake a course to address the abuse of alcohol which has led to much of his past offending.