Leeds nightclub attack victim punched over kiss claim

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AN ATTACK victim has had to have metal plates fitted to his face for the rest of his life after being punched in a Leeds city centre nightclub.

A court heard Adam Betteridge turned violent in the Space club in Leeds city centre after he took exception when the 24-year-old victim kissed him on the lips.

Betteridge, 28, told police after the attack: “You know what gays are like. What can you do?” Ewan Mclachlan, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court: “The defendant is not gay. But that is immaterial.”

The court heard the victim has no recollection of the incident, which happened around 4.30am on Friday December 13 last year. CCTV footage showed Betteridge walk up to the victim as he was standing at the bar, throwing a single punch. The victim was knocked to the floor and hit his head. The prosecutor described how the victim suffered multiple fractures to his face and jaw.

He has been left permanently scarred and had plates inserted into his face which will stay there for life.

Mr Mclachlan said: “The defendant was detained at the scene and interviewed and admitted that he had punched the complainant. He said he had done so because the complainant had come up to him and kissed him on the lips. He said he did not like that. He said it was done in such a way that if it had been a woman who had been kissed him it would have been a sexual matter.” Betteridge, of Foundry Street, Seacroft, was jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

The court heard he has previous convictions for violence. He was jailed for four years and eight months in 2008 for an attempted robbery.

Anthony Sugare, mitigating, said: “This has got nothing to do with sex. The point of this is that the defendant was minding his own business. He did not know the complainant from Adam and was suddenly kissed on the lips.” The lawyer said it was unfortuante that the kiss had not been caught on camera.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “Your reaction was not an instinctive reaction but a considered reaction. I have had the advantage of seeing the CCTV which shows you approaching the victim who was simply minding his own business when you approached him and you felled him with a single blow.”

Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

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