A MAN has been jailed over a late-night attack on a publican who had earlier ejected him on his last night at the premises.

Michael Thompson launched the assault on the landlord of the Red Lion, in Coxhoe, on a track off the A177, as he made his way home to the nearby hamlet of Garmondsway, at 11.45pm on Sunday October 28, 2018.

Durham Crown Court heard that Thompson caused two fractures to the victim’s jaw, but, did take the injured man to the casualty department at the University Hospital of North Durham, in Durham, for treatment.

Although the prosecution suggested there may have also been a kick or stamp to the victim’s head as he lay on the ground, this was denied by Thompson.

The 49-year-old defendant, of Lichfield Road, West Cornforth, denied unlawful wounding and the more serious charge of wounding with intent.

Paul Abrahams, for Thompson, said he accepted delivering some blows, but claimed he acted in self-defence after a chance meeting outside the pub as both made their way home.

Phillip Morley, prosecuting, said there had been an earlier confrontation in the pub after a remark was made that the landlord should provide free drinks for regulars as it was his last night at the premises, which closed and reopened a month later as The Village Tavern.

On the third day of the trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict to the unlawful wounding charge, but cleared the defendant of the more serious count of wounding with intent.

Judge James Adkin imposed a three-and-a-half year prison sentence on Thompson.