A YOUNG Stratford man who launched a drunken attack on his girlfriend’s father, who was holding his grandson at the time, has been ordered to pay him more than £1,000 in compensation.
Henry Clemons had originally claimed he was acting in self-defence when he carried out the unprovoked attack, but at Warwick Crown Court he pleaded guilty to the assault.
The 20 year-old, of Justins Avenue, was sentence to 12 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.
The judge, Recorder Alastair Smith also ordered him to pay £1,100 compensation to his victim Iain Woolley and £500 costs.
In addition, he was made subject to a restraining order banning him from having any contact with Mr Woolley or his daughter Kayla, or from going to Wolverton where they live, or to the Maybird Centre in Stratford where Kayla works.
Prosecutor Simon Hunka said Clemons had been in an on-off relationship with Kayla Woolley, who lived in Wolverton with her father and her 15 month old son, since the beginning of last year.
In December they went to a Christmas party at Wolverton village hall, while Mr Woolley stayed at home to look after his grandson.
The mood between Clemons and Kayla was fine during the evening, although Clemons had a lot to drink, about two bottles of wine, and they then went back to her home, where a row broke out.
As a result of the commotion, Mr Woolley came to the top of the stairs holding his grandson, only for Clemons to become incensed and threatening to ‘finish’ him if he came down.
Mr Woolley did come downstairs to try to calm him down, and offered to give him a lift home.
But, with Mr Woolley still holding the child, Clemons went for him, pushing him with such force that he fell over a barrier around the family’s Christmas tree and into the tree.
Clemons then grabbed him round the throat and repeatedly punched him to the head, neck and face, knocking him unconscious, but continued to punch and knee him.
Kayla tried to stop him, but was unable to do so, and ran out of the house to their neighbours’ home, screaming for help.
One of them went to the house and saw Clemons standing over Mr Woolley, and told him to leave.
The police were called, and Clemons was arrested and Mr Woolley was taken to hospital where he received treatment for his injuries, which included a deep wound to his forehead.
Mr Hunka added Mr Woolley still had no idea why he had suffered such an unprovoked and out-of-character attack from Clemons.
Naomi Nelson-Cofie, for Clemons, conceded the assault crossed the custody threshold, but said a pre-sentence report and references showed he was remorseful and that it had been out of character, and she asked for the sentence to be suspended.
And sentencing Clemons, Recorder Smith told him: “This was on any view a repeated and sustained assault, causing significant injuries to Mr Woolley.
“But I must accept from what I’ve heard that you are a man of previous good character, you are remorseful, and this was, on anyone’s view, an isolated incident. I’m persuaded, just, that you should be given the benefit of the doubt.”