…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media.
A man fueled by jealousy attacked a stranger in a pub after discovering that the victim had been in contact with his ex-girlfriend through a dating website.
Mark Clifton, aged 42, punched the victim, causing him to fall to the ground, and proceeded to kick him.
The assault resulted in serious facial injuries for the victim, who required surgery to have a metal plate fitted.
It was revealed in Swansea Crown Court that Clifton hopes to reignite his relationship with the woman involved in this romantic triangle.
The Events Leading to the Assault
According to Craig Jones, the prosecutor, the incident occurred on the evening of January 7, the previous year, at the Royal Oak pub in Llanelli.
The victim, Adam Newton, was present with his friends, unaware of any connection to Clifton.
However, both Clifton and his former partner were also in the pub.
Although Mr. Newton had not met Clifton’s ex-girlfriend, he had been exchanging messages with her through a dating app.
The Assault and Aftermath
During the course of the evening, Clifton’s ex-girlfriend poured a drink over him, and he subsequently discovered that she had been in contact with another man who happened to be present in the pub.
When Mr. Newton left the pub for a cigarette, Clifton followed him shortly after, indicating intent.
Outside the pub, Clifton punched the victim, causing him to fall to the ground, where he was further kicked by Clifton.
After the assault, Clifton returned to the pub and continued drinking.
Mr. Newton was rushed to Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli, where he underwent surgery to repair fractured eye socket bones with the insertion of metal plates and screws.
Clifton was arrested nearly three weeks later and initially claimed that his ex-girlfriend had poured a pint of Coke over him, and he was attacked when he went outside the pub.
Victim’s Impact and Sentencing
In an impact statement read in court, the victim expressed that he still has no feeling on one side of his face and had to give up his favorite hobby of playing five-a-side football due to fears of exacerbating his injuries.
He also disclosed feelings of depression and anxiety.
Mark Clifton pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm and had a history of previous convictions, including assault occasioning actual bodily harm, battery, assaulting a police officer, possession of cocaine, and drink-driving.
Clifton’s defense lawyer acknowledged his occasional inappropriate behavior and resorting to violence while intoxicated.
The Verdict and Sentence
Judge Catherine Richards described Clifton’s attack on the victim as unprovoked and driven by jealousy and intoxication.
Considering the guidelines, the appropriate sentence after a guilty plea would have been 30 months in prison, but due to the plea, it was reduced to 25 months.
The judge mentioned that even if the sentence had been eligible for suspension (24 months or less), it might not have been justified.
Clifton will serve half of the 25-month sentence in prison and the remainder under community supervision.
Additionally, a restraining order was imposed, preventing him from contacting the victim for the next five years.
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