A Warwick man had to undergo an operation to have his cheekbone repaired with a metal plate after being subjected to an unprovoked attack by his sister’s former partner.
And after initially denying inflicting grievous bodily harm, Christopher Warner changed his plea to guilty at a pre-trial hearing at Warwick Crown Court.
Warner (30) of Pentland Crown Place, Bishops Tachbrook, was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Anthony Potter also ordered him to pay compensation of £200 to his victim Colin Arundel, and made a restraining order banning Warner from having any contact with him for 12 months.
Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said that in October 2016 Mr Arundel, the brother of Warner’s former partner, was walking along Portobello Way, Warwick, on his way home when a car drew up.
Warner got out of the car and approached him and asked him something about one of his, Warner’s, children, to which Mr Arundel responded: “What do you mean?”
Without explaining what he meant, and without warning, Warner pushed him and then punched him to the side of his face, causing him to stumble backwards but not fall.
Warner, who Mr Jackson said was ‘in a high emotional state’ at the time because it was the anniversary of his mother’s death, then got back into his car and drove off.
Mr Arundel made his way to hospital where it was found he had a fractured cheekbone, for which he needed an operation during which a metal plate was inserted to repair the damage.
Mr Jackson pointed out that Mr Arundel had recognised both the car and the perpetrator of the attack on him.
Although images from a nearby CCTV camera showed the car, they did not show the attacker’s face.
But pictures from a petrol station camera a few days earlier had captured Warner, with the car, wearing the same clothes as he had on during the attack.
But when he was arrested he denied being responsible, claiming he was elsewhere at the time, and he pleaded not guilty when he first appeared in court in February last year.
Ben Gow, defending, said Warner was there because he had friends in the area, and by chance saw Mr Arundel getting off a bus, rather than having gone looking for him.
Mr Gow, who said that Warner had three children by his former partner and one by his current partner, pointed out that there had been no further incidents in the two years since then.
Sentencing Warner, Judge Potter told him: “You very wisely had the good sense to finally enter a plea of guilty.
“You having admitted what you had done enables me to deal with you in a different way than if you had fought this trial.
“There was no justification for you approaching Colin Arundel in the way you did and, having made an enquiry, not waiting for a response, but hitting him immediately, breaking his cheekbone, for which he required an operation.”