Jail for man over brutal drunk attack

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A DRUNKEN man who punched and kicked a reveller while he was on the ground has been jailed for 18 months.

Benjamin Ashton was left with a broken nose and fractured cheekbone after he was felled by a single blow and then stamped upon by Michael Johnson, 21.

Johnson’s barrister Patrick Duffy told Sheffield Crown Court: “It was a stupid random attack of violence.”

The attack happened in the early hours of July 30 last year after Mr Ashton had hailed a taxi in Main Street, Rotherham.

Elizabeth Martin, prosecuting, said as the taxi was about to set off, Mr Ashton spotted a friend – Joe Smith – and asked him if he wanted a lift.

But it emerged that Mr Smith had previously been in an altercation after he had chatted up Johnson’s girlfriend.

Johnson threw one punch at Mr Ashton and knocked him to the ground. He then deliberately stamped on his face.

In a victim impact statement read in court, Mr Ashton said he no longer wanted to socialise in case he met the defendant.

Trainee plasterer Johnson, of Herringthorpe Valley Road, Rotherham, admitted causing grievous bodily harm.

Jailing Johnson, Judge Alan Goldsack said it was an example of “serious town centre violence” and added: “Whatever may have been involved in the incident immediately before it doesn’t excuse in any way what you did.

“You went up to him and delievered a powerful punch to his face causing a nose fracture.

“He then went to the floor and what you then did considerably increases the gravity of this offence because you stamped on his head.”