Leeds city centre hotel attack victim’s jaw fractured in two places

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A drunken thug fractured a conference goer’s jaw after accusing him of being “smug” during an attack at a Leeds hotel.

Richard Wood, 37, was given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm after the incident at the Travelodge in Leeds city centre.

Leeds Crown Court heard the 28-year-old victim was attending a conference at the hotel on July 31 when the incident took place as he was talking to other delegates in the bar.

Wood was with another group and both parties had been talking to each other before the attack.

David McKaye, prosecuting, said Wood suddenly moved a chair aside and punched the victim in the face for no apparent reason.

Mr McKaye said one witness heard Wood describe the victim as “smug” shortly before he threw the punch.

Police were called and Wood, of Oakenshaw Lane, Walton, Wakefield, was arrested walking away from the hotel.

In interview he told police he could not remember the incident because he was drunk.

Officers showed Wood the CCTV footage of the attack and he admitted that his actions were unacceptable and could not explain why he did it.

Wood was initially charged with common assault after the victim claimed he felt only soreness to his jaw after the attack.

But he faced the more serious charge after it was discovered the victim had suffered a double fracture to his jaw and had to undergo surgery.

The court heard that Wood had previous convictions for drink-related violence dating back to 2000 and had served time in prison as a result.

Judge James Spencer QC gave Wood a 51-week sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and pay £1,500 costs to the victim.

The judge said: “It seems to me that this offence is a serious one because of your history and because of the injuries caused.”

James Littlehayles, mitigating, said Wood had been at a reunion at the hotel and was drunk at the time of the attack.

Mr Littlehayles told the court that Wood was sorry for what he had done and did not normally drink as a result of his previous convictions.


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