A YOUNG man whose online dating app sponsors Stratford Town football club was involved in violence on a local supermarket car park during which another man’s jaw was broken.
But Hayden Garrison and three friends have been cleared of inflicting grievous bodily harm after a judge was told it was not possible to say who actually caused the injury.
Garrison, Daniel Ewing, Jacob Young and Joshua Wykes all pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court earlier this year to inflicting grievous bodily harm on Dominic McFarland.
Wykes failed to turn up for pre-trial hearings at which Garrison, age 19 of Tiddinton Road, Stratford, Ewing, 19, of Tiddington, and Young, 19, of The Close, Wilmcote, admitted an alternative offence of affray, which they had originally denied.
Following an adjournment for pre-sentence reports to be prepared, all three were given 12-month community sentences, with Garrison and Ewing being ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid works and Young 90 hours.
Garrison, whose MoodChimp dating app sponsors Stratford Town, was also ordered to pay £300 compensation to Mr McFarland, with the other two being ordered to pay £150 each.
Wykes, 19, of Reservoir Road, Erdington, Birmingham, again failed to attend court.
Deputy Judge Michael Stokes QC issued a warrant for his arrest without bail.
Prosecutor Ian Speed said that in October 2015 Dominic McFarland was in a car with friends, and went to the Tesco store in Stratford to get some food.
“The defendants arrived in a car and parked some distance away, and there are coins thrown at cars. A coin was thrown back, hitting the car Mr Garrison was in.
“He left the vehicle, closely followed by the others, and all four began throwing punches, and punches were thrown back, and unfortunately Mr McFarland sustained a fractured jaw which had to be plated.”
Mr Speed added that it was not possible to say whose actions caused the injury.
Mukhtar Hussain, for Garrison, said the incident was out of character and he has now matured, running a business which employs four people.
Barristers for the other two also said the incident was out of character for them, with Simon Hunka, for Ewing, saying he has ‘recently begun to stand on his own two feet, having moved out of home.’
Kerrie-Anne Rowan, for Young, said that since the incident he has become a father and has completed a bricklaying and carpentry course at college.
Sentencing the three, Judge Stokes told them: “It could not be suggested you intended to cause serious harm, although serious harm was caused to one young man who ended up with a broken jaw.
“That is an indication to all of you what can happen when stupid behaviour gets out of hand.
“Older people who break people’s jaws end up going to prison. That’s not going to happen in any of your cases, but if you find yourselves in a situation like this again, just think on about what the consequences can be.”