Darlington doorman who attacked pub customer spared jail after victim's leniency plea (From The Northern Echo)
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Darlington doorman who attacked pub customer spared jail after victim's leniency plea
A DOORMAN who laid out a pub customer was spared jail yesterday (Monday, September 9) - when a judge told him to shake his victim's hand.
John Roberts was ordered to pay Timothy Cook £1,000 compensation for the attack outside Yates's in Darlington town centre.
Teesside Crown Court heard that Roberts lashed out after Mr Cook had been ejected, tried to get back in and became threatening.
During a trial last month, the bouncer said he feared he was going to be stabbed when the customer went for his pocket.
In an impact statement, Mr Cook said all he wanted was an apology because he did not want the young dad to be locked up.
The judge, Recorder Graham Hyland, QC, told 26-year-old Roberts: "You are fortunate that Mr Cook has been so magnanimous.
"That's a very decent statement. He has helped you, and what would help him is if you shook his hand when you see him out there."
Mr Cook was in the court's public gallery to hear the judge seemingly comply with his request for leniency for his attacker.
Roberts, of Jura Drive, Darlington, was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence with 150 hours' unpaid work and damages.
His lawyer, Graham Silvester, said he was now back in work - as a warehouseman - and had been married recently.
"Having discussed the matter and read the statement from Mr Cook, can I, on behalf of Mr Roberts, apologise unreservedly."
The court heard how the victim fell back after being punched once and fractured his hip, cut his head and lost front teeth.
Roberts - who had his door licence revoked after the last September's incident - was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
During discussions with Mr Silvester, the judge said: "This has been a one-off. He has had to deal with situations such as this before without getting into any trouble.
"He was, on the evidence I heard, under a degree of provocation and he feared that he himself would be the subject of a knife attack.
"It was a single blow with very unfortunate consequences . . . the complainant remains in some real discomfort."