A factory worker punched a man in a taxi office because of a disagreement about the victim not wearing a covid protective mask.
Alan Legge was handed a suspended jail sentence at court this week for the vicious assault which was captured on CCTV and cause the victim to have multiple facial fractures.
Following a media appeal the 55-year-old handed him into police after footage emerged of Legge standing in the office immediately after the assault.
Speaking at Derbyshire Crown Court this week, Judge Shaun Smith QC, said: “What you did is there for all to see on the CCTV footage.
“It was a very unpleasant piece of violence and it might be that he said something to you or that you were particularly irritated that he was not wearing a mask. We have all been in that situation but you can’t do what you did.
“I am not suggesting that you intended to do what you did when you caused him multiple fractures. But the effects of that are that he still has ongoing physical and mental issues so this is a serious matter.
“It’s an impulsive, spontaneous and short-lived assault and you have never been in trouble before. You are hard-working and I have read a reference from Mansfield Plastic Fabrications Ltd, the managing director speaks very highly of you and does not want to lose you.”
Leanne Summers, prosecuting, said the incident took place at A-Line Taxis, in Stephenson Place, Chesterfield, at around 10.10pm on Thursday, October 8, 2020, according to Derbyshire Live.
She played CCTV footage to the court which captured Legge, of Chapel Road, Grassmoor, standing waiting for a cab next to the victim, who was sitting down.
The film shows the man show the defendant a document which Miss Summers said was his exemption from wearing a Covid protection face mask.
In the clip, other people arrive and start to wait when, out of the blue, Legge strikes the man with one powerful punch to his face and then follow it up with three-to-four less sever blows.
He is then separated by another waiting customer and then leaves while the victim is seen clutching his face. Miss Summers said: “The defendant was arrested following a media appeal when he surrendered himself, he said the victim was swearing at him and he retaliated to that rather than anything else.”
The judge read out part of a victim impact statement. In it the man Legge attacked said he was 49 at the time and did not go out and celebrate his 50th birthdays saying he fells “uncomfortable going out, paranoid and struggles to sleep”.
Legge pleaded guilty to assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and has no previous convictions of any kind. The judge handed Legge a 15-month jail term, suspended for 18 months.
Caroline Sellars, mitigating said her client earns £29,000 per annum working for the Mansfield-based firm and said that the assault was not persistent or prolonged.
As part of the suspended sentence, Judge Smith ordered Legge to pay the victim £1,000 compensation within 28 days. He also handed him a curfew which will confine the defendant to his home address each evening between 7pm and 5am for the next three months.
He said: “I am sure I am not going to see you again. But if I do it will be to send you to prison.”
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