Friendship is... standing by the mate who broke your jaw
A MAN who had his jaw broken by a friend in a drunken brawl outside a pub forgave the assault and stood by his mate in court.
Gary Tripp-Edwards knocked Robert Lock out and continued to kick and hit him while he was on the floor outside The Foresters, Gloucester Road, on January 24.
But Bristol Crown Court heard how Lock forgave him, refused to give police a statement and was in the public gallery as Tripp-Edwards was spared prison by Judge Martin Picton.
The judge said: "You have come so close to going downstairs (to the cells). Your behaviour comes way above the custody threshold.
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"I've decided that the circumstances are sufficiently unusual, particularly given the person you hurt severely is sitting in the public gallery supporting you. But you cannot just have fights in the street and expect the public to ignore it."
Judge Picton imposed a one-year jail term, suspended for two years, ordered the defendant to do 180 hours unpaid work and pay £450 compensation.
The court heard former doorman Tripp-Edwards, of Rodbourne Road, Manor Farm, and Mr Lock had been drinking on the day in question.
CCTV showed the pair arguing and a small scuffle as Tripp-Edwards seemingly ushered Mr Lock out of the pub. Then, through the pub window, the CCTV camera recorded Tripp-Edwards attacking Mr Lock and punching repeatedly in a downwards motion as his friend and victim was lying on the floor out of view.
Prosecuting, Richard Posner said a witness walking along the road at 7.45pm saw the pair arguing then saw Tripp-Edwards grabbing Mr Lock by the throat and punching him, causing his head to hit the pub wall.
He then punched him again in the jaw, knocking him unconscious.
Mr Lock was too drunk to tell doctors what had happened, but doctors X-rayed him they found his lower jaw was broken and he needed an operation, metal plates and screws.
Tripp-Edwards, who had a number of previous offences for violence, admitted assault occasioning grievous bodily harm on the basis he feared he was going to be attacked.
Mitigating for him, Kannan Siva said the father-of-eight had showed considerable remorse.