Man avoids jail over pub brawl.
Byline: Sam Dimmer Crime reporter email@example.com
A MAN who headbutted another customer in a busy Coventry pub and then punched him repeatedly on the floor until he was pulled off has avoided being jailed.
Declan Mulvenna pleaded guilty at the crown court in Leamington to assaulting his victim Daniel Chandler causing him actual bodily harm.
Mulvenna, 28, of Forfield Road, Coundon, Coventry, was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for a year and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay PS350 costs.
Prosecutor Mike Conry said Mr Chandler refused to make a statement to the police, but the incident in the Four Provinces pub in Allesley Old Road, Chapelfields, Coventry, was captured by CCTV cameras.
"There is a suggestion there was considerable provocation from the complainant, and the Crown have difficulty in disputing that."
Mr Conry said Mulvenna described being at the bar, where he drank a few pints and a couple of vodkas, when he noticed Mr Chandler, who he claimed had beaten up his brother a year earlier, keep looking across at him.
"Chandler has gone over, and the defendant says he asked him what he was looking at.
"Chandler told him 'You're going to get what your brother got,' and Mulvenna told him to '**** off.' "Chandler threatened him he was going to get glassed. He was scared by the threat, and headbutted him before jumping on top of him and punching him repeatedly."
The CCTV recording showed that as Mulvenna landed about a dozen punches, other people moved in; and as they pulled him away he aimed a kick at the motionless Mr Chandler.
When he was arrested and interviewed, Mulvenna described punching Mr Chandler to keep him down to stop him attacking him, and Mr Conry conceded: "There is some real basis for the defence assertion that there was some real provocation."
And Recorder MB Jackson observed: "The CCTV does show him approaching the defendant and putting his face towards him in a way which could be considered intimidatory or threatening."
Brian Dean, defending, said: "There's a long history in relation to Chandler. The defendant's brother has brought the crime reference number from when he was assaulted by Chandler.
"The defendant was conscious of Chandler eyeballing him throughout the night. Chandler then approaches him, and you will have seen a push to the chest.
"The fact that he told him he was going to get what his brother got made him think he was going to be glassed, and he reacted."
Sentencing Mulvenna, Recorder Jackson told him: "You, having been threatened by Daniel Chandler, then headbutted him and followed that through by kneeling over him and punching him repeatedly.
"This was a sustained assault, and one which was carried out against a man who, after the initial headbutt, was prone on the floor.
"But what is also clear is that Chandler approached you, and it is said that threats were made to you. You were certainly not the person who instigated events that night. However, what you did went beyond any pre-emptive self-defence the law allows."
The Four Provinces |pub, Chapelfields, where the incident happened