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Man who ‘couldn’t remember’ pub attack jailed for four months

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 09, 2014

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A MAN who attacked a fellow customer at a Burton pub and said he couldn’t remember it taking place has been sentenced to four months in prison.

Matthew Butcher, 33, of Heathlands Grange appeared at Burton Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to attacking Martin Sale on New Year’s Day. He had originally not pleaded not guilty and the case was due to be heard at a trial. However before it took place, he entered a guilty plea.

The court heard how Mr Sale had gone to the New Inn in Main Street, Stapenhill with family to watch a game of football at around 5pm.

The group had chosen to sit in the bar area and he began to move tables so they could watch the game when he was punched by Butcher, causing him to trip over a stool and fall to the floor.

Sam Frazer, prosecuting, told Magistrates that Mr Sale had told police: “The male then began to stamp on me. The landlord told him that he was to leave the pub.”

She continued: “He received a small scratch to the hairline and bruising on the hand. The defendant accepts punching the injured party, causing him to fall to the floor and stamping on his head. The victim says he does not know him.”

Mr Sale said in his statement that the attack has had a significant impact on his family, with his young daughter unwilling to go back to the pub as she fears her dad might be assaulted again. He added that his family are also conscious of his whereabouts.

The court heard that Butcher, who is currently unemployed, does not have any recollection of the attack, stating that he had just returned from Australia and was tired due to the effects of jet lag.

Sonia Lawrence, defending, said that Butcher is currently awaiting an operation to have a vein removed from his spine, which is the reason that he is currently not in work. She added that he is currently in receipt of benefits after using up his savings.

He has previously served community orders for other offences dating back to 2006 and 2011.

Sentencing Butcher, Magistrates told him: “We feel that this offence is so severe that it passes the custody threshold.

“It was in a public place, and you were using a weapon, namely your foot. There were also children present.”

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