A man punched another man in the face with such force during an attack in a Leamington pub that his victim’s eye effectively exploded in its socket.
And as a result Craig Miller’s victim has been left blind in that eye and unable to return to work as a bricklayer, a judge has heard.
Miller (23) of Cashmore Avenue, Leamington, was jailed for two years and eight months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Prosecutor Michael Williams said that on October 13 Miller spent the afternoon in the Pig and Fiddle pub in High Street, Leamington, where he was described as merry but not drunk.
At about five o’clock he went outside, and when he came back in five minutes later he seemed to be in an anxious state and handed his bag to the bar staff in case something happened to him, then went back outside.
Stuart Cosgrove then came into the pub, but was extremely drunk, so the staff refused to serve him any more drink.
“At that stage the defendant came back in and said ‘It’s all his fault. I tried to help him and now they’re all after me.’
“A group of four or five men then burst into the pub and were extremely aggressive and making threats, with one saying to the defendant ‘I’m going to get you.’”
Mr Williams said the bar staff managed to usher the group out of the pub.
“The defendant then approached Mr Cosgrove and got right into his face, pointing at him and saying ‘This is all your fault,’ and then began punching him around nine times to the face and head.
“The victim, perhaps because he was so intoxicated, made no attempt to defend himself. The defendant was told to leave, which he did.
Mr Cosgrove, who had an injury to his right eye, also left the pub, but fell and hit his head, and an ambulance was called.
Although an injury to the back of his head was a result of the fall, the serious injury was that to his eye from Miller’s punches which had caused a ‘global rupture’ to the eyeball and a total loss of vision in that eye.
Mr Williams pointed out that Mr Cosgrove says he has been told he will never see out of that eye again, and ongoing surgery was ‘purely to retain the eyeball for cosmetic purposes.’
And, as a bricklayer who needed to drive to jobs, it has had a lasting impact on 49-year-old Mr Cosgrove’s ability to work.
When Miller, who had previous convictions for assault, was arrested, he said he had drunk five pints of cider and two shots of Sambuca, and when he had gone outside he saw Mr Cosgrove arguing with another man and asked if he was OK.
He said the other man reacted to that by threatening to shoot and kidnap him and his family, and there was some violence between them.
And when he went back inside he took his anger for what had happened out on Mr Cosgrove, for which it was said he was extremely remorseful, expressing his apologies.
Tim Harrington, defending, commented: “The defendant in interview was mortified by what he had done. He was visibly upset.
“He had been assaulted himself, and it caused him to lose his cool with the victim, who was a friend, because he felt he was to blame for what had occurred.”
Jailing Miller, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “By reason of your actions that night, the person you assaulted, Stuart Cosgrove, has lost his eye.
“You yourself have a woeful record. You are a violent young man. I have no doubt you present an ongoing danger to those in the community when you are in drink and in anger.
“You decided to blame him for what was being threatened towards you and attacked him viciously with your fists. One of those connected with his eyeball and effectively exploded it in the socket.”