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Student 'prank' ends with injury; HOUSEMATE'S JAW FRACTURED IN TWO PLACES.

Byline: ROB KENNEDY Court Reporter @ChronicleCourt

A PRANK by students ended with a young man being seriously injured by a housemate who lost his temper at the "puerile" behaviour.

Henry Watson was woken up in the early hours by fellow students returning in a drunken state to the Newcastle University accommodation where they were staying.

A court heard it was not the first time they had disturbed Watson's sleep and they thought it was funny. But the "academically gifted" 21-year-old was not amused and initially took revenge by soaking their beds in water then barricading himself in his room.

When housemate Stanley Fawcett went to remonstrate with him about that, words were exchanged and Watson pushed or punched him.

However, instead of leaving it there, Watson then followed Mr Fawcett downstairs and landed two forceful blows, fracturing his jaw in two places and leaving him needing metal plates screwed into his face.

Now Watson, who admitted GBH, has been given a community order and 250 hours of unpaid work by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court.

Judge Tim Gittins told him: "It would seem it was borne out of your reaction to puerile behaviour on the part of some of those in your accommodation.

"They had been out that night and returned during the early hours worse for wear and woke you up, as they had done on at least two previous occasions, thinking it was humorous to do so.

"Your initial reaction was to remonstrate with them, perhaps understandably and you then took puerile revenge by soaking their beds."

They had been out that night and returned during the early hours worse for wear and woke you up " Mr Fawcett, 22, then went to remonstrate with Watson andJudge Tim Gittins their was the initial exchange between the pair.

"If the matter had been left there, no doubt there would have been some animosity between you and some frostiness within the flat and no more," said Judge Gittins. "But what you did was to lose your control in an excessive and out of character fashion. You followed him downstairs and, in the presence of another flatmate who tried to calm you down, in your loss of temper you struck Mr Fawcett two forceful blows to the face and he fell to the floor."

The victim was left with blood pouring from his face and X-rays showed he had two fractures to either side of his jaw and he had to have surgery.

The court heard the painful injuries were expected to take between three and six months to heal. Watson, of Henleaze Gardens, Bristol, pleaded guilty to inflicting GBH and was sentenced to an 18-month community order with 250 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Gittins said: "Notwithstanding some advantages in life, you have sought to internalise and battle with a number of mental health difficulties.

"I'm quite satisfied you were provoked that night and your over-reaction was wholly out of character.

"All speak of you, including Mr Fawcett, as being somebody who would not rise to that sort of behaviour even when provoked and challenged. There has been a significant degree of soul-searching on your behalf and real remorse demonstrated."

thinking it was humorous to do so. "Your initial to them, and took to with their betwee"They had been out that night and returned during the early hours worse for wear and woke you upJudge Tim Gittins
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 17, 2017
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