Bristol man who struck out 'to protect friend' spared jail
A MAN who made a pre-emptive strike on someone he thought was about to hit his friend has been spared jail.
Matthew Card felled Graham Percival when he thought Mr Percival was going to attack Craig Noel, Bristol Crown Court heard.
Mr Percival, who had been drinking and couldn't recall the incident, suffered a fractured cheekbone and had to have surgery to install two metal plates in his skull.
Card, 33, of Folleigh Drive, Long Ashton, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm in May last year.
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Judge Mark Horton gave him an 11-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with a four-month curfew and up to 30 days of aggression replacement therapy.
The judge told him: "You are 33 and you've got quite a nasty record for violence.
"It is clear to me from what you said in interview that you have a problem with anger, whether that is anger at life or at yourself.
"It only surfaces once you've been drinking too much."
The judge ordered Card to pay £1,000 compensation to his victim.
Kirsty Real, prosecuting, told the court that on the night in question Mr Percival had been drinking at the Albert Inn in Bedminster.
She said: "At 2am police came across Mr Percival in a confrontation with the defendant and his friend.
"They saw punches delivered at Mr Percival."
The court heard doctors were pleased with surgery carried out on Mr Percival.
He gave a statement saying that as a result of the attack he was extremely cautious about going out at night, had to have time off work and missed an appointment due to his appearance.
Card told police Mr Percival was drunk and had been ejected from the pub, which was confirmed by staff.
Card also stated how Mr Percival had wanted to fight, taken his top off and gone to hit Mr Noel from behind.
He conceded he struck Mr Percival more than once to the head and his temper had got the better of him.
Giles Nelson, defending, conceded it was a "shameful" incident but said it was agreed the complainant had been drunk and aggressive.
He said: "It was an over-reaction on behalf of the defendant. He interjected and lost his temper."
The court heard Card was frank with a probation officer about his anger problem