Sun, 08 Apr 2018
A MAN has been sentenced for causing grievous bodily harm in a fight outside the One Stop shop in Hungerford.
The fracas in Fairview Road happened on May 20 last year and left victim John Shackell on the ground in agony with a fractured collar bone.
In the dock at Reading Crown Court last Wednesday was 25-year-old Andrew Bridges, formerly of Farm Cottages, Standen, but currently of no fixed abode following a prison sentence for previous offences.
He admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm on the basis of excessive self-defence, and this was accepted by the prosecution after viewing CCTV footage of the incident.
Jane Davies, prosecuting, said: “In fairness, the first physical blow was struck by the complainant.
“But Mr Shackell ended up on the ground, where he suffered a couple of kicks which resulted in a fractured shoulder.
“A victim personal statement indicates the effect this has had on him and the future prognosis.”
The court heard Bridges, a landscape gardener, had been due for release from prison, having served half of a six-month sentence for assaulting Megan Terry by beating her at Fairview Road, Hungerford, on July 7 and having a bladed article on the same occasion.
However, due to the current charge, he had spent an additional three weeks in custody.
Tom Quinn, defending, said that while in prison his client had addressed his underlying problems with drugs and alcohol.
He added: “This has been a real check to his system.
“He regrets his actions and if he could take it back, he would.”
Judge Paul Dugdale said: “John Shackell ended up badly hurt.
“This incident could, and should, have been dealt with differently.
“This should have been dealt with by a quick ‘sorry’ from both of you, but it didn’t end that way.
“You got into a row, both squaring up to each other.
“In fairness to you, the CCTV footage is absolutely clear – the first blow, the first physical contact, was when Mr Shackell gave you a right-hand punch to the face.
“You responded, pushing; he goes to the ground and there are two kicks to his body.
“I’m therefore sentencing you on the basis you were defending yourself, but used excessive force.”
He added: “You’ve been in prison for three months as part of another sentence.
“You engaged well with the services and have spent three weeks in custody because of this matter.”
Judge Dugdale said that, under the circumstances, he would be making no order for compensation.
He made Bridges subject to a 12-month community order and ordered him to carry out 100 hours unpaid community work.
Finally, Bridges was ordered to pay a statutory victim services surcharge.