Judge says violence claim wearing thin

By Court Reporter Thursday 22 May 2014 Updated: 23/05 12:43

A REDDITCH man who crossed the road to carry out a vicious attack on a stranger, knocking out his victim’s teeth and leaving him with permanent scarring, has been jailed for two years.

Gavin Butters, of Aldington Close in Lodge Park, had already admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Alexander Pitts during a night out in Stratford in September last year. The 25-year-old was also sentenced to a consecutive two month term for committing common assault on night club doorman Vladimir Margjoka during an earlier incident the same evening.

Warwick Crown Court heard how the attack took place just a month after a suspended prison term for an earlier offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm had come to an end.

Butters had gone to the Caz Bar with his girlfriend who took exception to being asked for ID. There was a scuffle with door staff during which Butters threw punches at Mr Margjoka.

As the incident, which was captured by a CCTV camera, spread into the road, Butters tried to pull his girlfriend away, but she broke free and went back towards the door staff before he pulled her away again.

They and their friends then walked away as the police arrived on the scene, and in Guild Street, for no apparent reason, his girlfriend crossed the road and launched an attack on a woman in a group with Mr Pitts.

Butters followed her across the road and launched an unprovoked attack on Mr Pitts, punching him to the face, knocking him to the ground where he was then repeatedly punched or kicked. As a result of the attack Mr Pitts had two teeth knocked out and had cuts which will leave him with permanent scars.

Butters and his girlfriend were arrested a little later after their route was followed by the CCTV operator.

The court was told Butters had previous convictions for violence, and in August 2011 had been sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years after punching and kicking another man outside a night club, breaking his jaw in three places.

Lee Masters, defending, said the attack on Mr Pitts had lasted ‘at the most five or six seconds’ and had arisen out of ‘misplaced intoxicated loyalty’ to his partner and Butters had not initiated the violence outside the club.

He asked for a suspended sentence which would allow Butters to pay compensation to his victim.

But jailing Butters, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “If you go out and get drunk and assault innocent people in the street at night, then you are in very serious trouble indeed.

“I am told this is misplaced loyalty, but that is wearing thin. That is what was said on the last occasion when you were fortunate to be given a suspended sentence.”

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