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Company boss escapes jail after knocking man unconscious

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 09, 2014

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A COMPANY boss who knocked a reveller unconscious with single punch was spared immediate prison by a judge.

Security cameras in Burton town centre filmed George Balfour hitting James Underwood without any warning and send him crashing to the pavement.

The completely unprovoked attack happened outside the town’s Fever nightspot, in High Street, on September 14 last year, Stafford Crown Court heard.

David Bennett, prosecuting, said the injured man and his friend had been turned away from the nightclub and they were walking away when his friend said ‘hello’ to a group of men.

He said: “For no reason the defendant punched the injured party in the face without warning.”

The defendant was detained by door staff from the nightclub as he was about to get in to a taxi and handed over to police.

Balfour, 30, of Hope Way, Church Gresley, who admitted a charge of actual bodily harm was sentenced to eight months suspended for 18 months, ordered to pay Mr Underwood £1,000 compensation and £1,200 costs and to do 100 hours unpaid community work.

Judge Amjad Nawaz told Balfour: “You are a big strong man and what you did was reprehensible - an unprovoked attack on a member of the public.”

Mr Bennett said Mr Underwood spent eight hours in Burton’s Queen’s Hospital’s accident and emergency department being treated for a large graze on his head, a cut lip and chipped teeth.

The court heard that Balfour had a previous conviction for inflicting grievous bodily harm in 2005.

This was due to a foul on an opponent in a Burton Sunday league football match.

Philip Morris, defending, said Balfour was a civil engineer who ran his own business employing 15 people.

He said: “This was an incident entirely out of character.

“The level of alcohol he consumed that day was a determining factor in the way he acted.”

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