Man punched pub landlord despite being friends, court hears

The Three Tuns pub in Needham Market Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The Three Tuns pub in Needham Market Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

A man who punched the landlord of a popular Suffolk pub after a night of drinking has been fined.

Tony Jackman, 37, of Harrier Way, Stowmarket, appeared before magistrates in Ipswich on Friday and pleaded guilty to common assault and causing actual bodily harm after the incident on February 23.

Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard how Jackman had been drinking at the Three Tuns pub in Needham Market with friends - which included the landlord, Ashley Sagnella, who was enjoying a night off.

As the night went on, Jackman's jokes became increasingly "over the top" and he began licking Mr Sagnella's face and sticking his fingers in his ears, the court heard.

Around 11.30pm, Mr Sagnella asked Jackman to leave the pub, in Hawks Mill Street, and tried to escort him out of the front door.

Jackman reacted and hit Mr Sagnella to the head and face before mounting him and continuing to throw punches.

Other drinkers in the pub quickly intervened and staff member Billy Tansley was caught in the face as Jackman thrashed his arms.

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Mr Tansley said he did not believe it was a deliberate hit, the court heard.

When police arrived, Mr Sagnella was receiving first aid to his eyebrow, which was bleeding profusely.

The landlord was taken to hospital and treated for a 1.5cm wound to his eyebrow, a bloodshot and bruised left eye and a fat lip.

Magistrates were shown around 45 seconds of CCTV footage of the incident.

In police interview, Jackman told officers he was a seven or eight out of ten on a scale of drunkeness.

He was shocked and remorseful after viewing the CCTV footage, the court heard.

Shelley Drew, mitigating, said: "He is remorseful. Clearly, this is something which should not have happened.

"It was a case of high jinks gone way too far and he is saddened by his behaviour."

Ms Drew added that the two are still friends although "not as close as they once were".

Anne Ng, chair of the bench, said: "Mr Jackman, we had the benefit of seeing the offence on the CCTV footage.

"It was a nasty assault involving two victims but we take into account your remorse and your guilty plea."

Jackman was fined £769 for the attack on Mr Sagnella and ordered to pay £445 compensation to the landlord.

He was also fined £461 for hitting Mr Tansley and ordered to pay £100 compensation.

He must also pay £105 in costs and a victim surcharge of £76.

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