Honiton man jailed for attack on his ex-partner's father

PUBLISHED: 12:19 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 23:41 15 June 2010

A thug who attacked his ex partner s father as he walked home from a darts tournament and then assaulted his friend who came to help him has been jailed for 27 months.

A thug who attacked his ex partner's father as he walked home from a darts tournament and then assaulted his friend who came to help him has been jailed for 27 months.

Exeter Crown Court heard 29-year-old Dale Brennan had already served a prison sentence for repeated attacks on his former partner and had a history of violence going back to when he was a teenager.

Prosecutor, Tom Bradnock said Stephen Butler was walking home from a darts tournament at The Star pub, in New Street, Honiton, when he saw Brennan and two other men standing across the street. He carried on walking and the next thing he knew he had been struck on the back of the head and fell to the ground. He was then punched and kicked by other people, sustaining a fractured kneecap, a cut eyebrow and facial bruising and swelling. He called to his friend, Eamon Goddard, who had left the pub seconds before him, to come to his aid and when the attack on him stopped he was able to get away and call the police.

By that time the gang had set about Mr Goddard with Brennan punching him and another man kicking him and lashing at him with a bottle. Mr Goddard suffered a fractured eye socket, a cut to the top of his had which needed six stitches and a cut to right eye which required three stitches.

The prosecutor said the three men made off, but a blood stained mobile phone left at the scene led police to Brennan who was identified by Mr Butler.

Brennan, who was living in Honiton at the time, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to the Mr Butler and assault occasioning actual bodily harm to Mr Goddard.

Mitigating, Richard Shepherd said Brennan was realistic enough to accept that he was going to prison for the two attacks. He had started the violence but was only involved in the initial punch on Mr Butler and Mr Goddard. Those who joined in were more involved and Adam Baverstock, who did the kicking and used the bottle, had been jailed for five years.

Mr Shepherd said Brennan had a short fuse and had lost his temper, but there was something of a history between him and Mr Butler. However that did not excuse his behaviour on that night.

Passing the prison sentence, Judge Graham Cottle told Brennan: "Mr Butler was making his way home from the pub when he was subjected to an attack started by you. You accept that you were first to punch him without any justification whatsoever. This was a joint enterprise with Baverstock but is accepted he was more involved that you.

"There is no alternative to an immediate custodial sentence, an outcome you realistically accept. You have a bad record for violence which includes affray in 1996, affray and assault in 2004, batter in 2006 and four offences of battery in 2008. The target on the last occasion was Mr Butler's daughter and you received 26 weeks in custody.

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