Businessman punched man in face outside Sudbury nightclub
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A Suffolk businessman who crouched over an unconscious man and punched him in the face has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Sentencing Joseph Wiffen, Judge David Pugh said he had attacked a defenceless man but accepted his victim had been the initial aggressor.
Wiffen, 39, of Lower Green, Alphamstone, Bures, admitted assaulting Danny Hazel causing him actual bodily harm on August 18 last year.
He was given an 11 month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to do 180 hours unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to Mr Hazel.
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Andrew Jackson, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, said the incident happened outside the Infinity nightclub in Sudbury.
He said that CCTV footage showed Mr Hazel speaking to two women outside the nightclub and then being spoken to by Wiffen and another man.
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Mr Hazel had then "forcefully pushed" Wiffen causing him to stumble backwards into the road.
Mr Hazel was punched in the face by the man with Wiffen and had fallen to the ground unconscious.
Wiffen had then crouched over him and punched him twice in the face.
Mr Jackson said the man who initially punched Mr Hazel told police he had hit Mr Hazel to protect Wiffen after seeing him being pushed and had not been prosecuted.
As a result of the incident Mr Hazel suffered two fractures to his jaw, a black eye, a cut to his eyelid and had ongoing problems.
Mr Jackson said Wiffen's plea to an assault charge had been accepted because there was uncertainty about how Mr Hazel's broken jaw had been caused.
The court heard that Wiffen told a probation officer that he had been out with members of his family and was told Mr Hazel had harassed his wife and daughter outside the nightclub.
They had gone to a taxi rank and saw Mr Hazel who said something and then pushed Wiffen.
Gregory Fishwick for Wiffen accepted Mr Hazel had been defenceless when his client punched him and that the attack was cowardly.
"He accepts he behaved appallingly," said Mr Fishwick.
However, he said Mr Hazel had been the first to raise his hands.
He said the offence was out of character for Wiffen who was "extremely sorry" for what he'd done.