A JEALOUS boyfriend left an innocent club reveller with a broken jaw and eating through a syringe in a brutal street attack – in full view of two police officers.
The victim’s jaw was wired up for seven weeks and had to go on a liquid diet after he was punched by Darrell Gilmartin outside the Residence nightclub in Poulton.
A court heard how Gilmartin, 31, probably mistook the man for one of a group of people who had earlier been harassing his girlfriend inside the club.
The victim, 22, needed two titanium plates fitted, with four screws after his jaw was fractured in two places.
Gilmartin, 31, of Taymouth Road, Blackpool was given eight months prison, suspended for eighteen months, with six months supervision and an order to do 250 hours unpaid work.
He must pay the victim £2,500 compensation and £425 costs.
Gilmartin had pleaded guilty to a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Preston Crown Court heard the violence erupted in the early hours of February 12 this year.
Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said it occurred after the victim had left the club and was standing outside, talking to a friend.
Without provocation, Gilmartin, who was also outside, punched him once to the left side of the face.
This was witnessed by two police officers.
Gilmartin was arrested at the scene. He became very apologetic, began to say ‘sorry’ and put forward an explanation.
In police interview, Gilmartin, who later wrote a letter of apology to the victim, said a group of males inside the club had earlier been talking to his girlfriend and had given her attention. He became jealous and told them to move away. Later outside, he thought he saw some of the males who had been causing the problem.
Janet Ironfield, defending, said of the punch “It was an impulsive act. The degree of injury was not intended, nor foreseen by the defendant.”
The court heard the harassment inside the club had been reported to door staff, but the behaviour didn’t stop from all members of the group.
When the defendant saw the victim outside, he believed he was one of them and lost his temper.
Judge Christopher Cornwall said: “We all know that a single punch can cause immediate death. We all know that a single punch can cause a skull fracture and severe brain damage, leading to paraplegia and associated conditions”.
He also told Gilmartin: “You have altered the victim’s life for the worse, certainly for the forseeable future”.
Judge Cornwall said in view of the early guilty plea, the fact Gilmartin had no previous convictions, was assessed as a low risk of re-offending and had a good work record, he felt able to suspend the prison sentence.