‘Chivalrous’ former Derbyshire council boss attacked man in pub with golf club

Peter Corke
Peter Corke
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A former council department head attacked a drinker with a golf club in a Derbyshire pub over an argument about a woman.

Peter Corke was “trying to be chivalrous” when he stepped in to stand up for the woman but he and the man she was talking to began to argue.

Derby Crown Court was told how the 49-year-old then left the pub but returned minutes later brandishing the club which he “struck the victim with repeatedly”.

The man he attacked needed to be treated for injuries to his head and body at the Royal Derby Hospital.

But in what the court was told was a “stoic” victim impact statement, the man he struck told how although he was frightened by what happened he was did not want Corke to get into trouble.

Handing Corke, who has no previous convictions, an eight-month jail term, suspended for 15 months, Recorder Jason MacAdam said: “Putting it bluntly and leaving aside this matter you are obviously a decent man.

“You are old enough and wise enough to know that whatever provocation was used you can walk out the door.

“It can properly be described as a ‘moment of madness’ but both you and the victim are very fortunate his injuries are not more serious.

“And although you behaved outrageously it was completely out of character.”

Alex Wolfson, prosecuting, said the attack took place in The Bell, in The Hill, Cromford, on November 25, last year

He said Corke was in there drinking at around 11pm when he went to talk to the victim who was arguing with a woman.

Mr Wolfson said: “Something was said between the parties and the defendant left.

“He returned five to 10 minutes later armed with a golf club and struck the victim repeatedly.

“There are differing accounts as to the number of blows but the victim had to go to the Royal Derby Hospital for treatment to a cut to his head and injuries to his body.”

Mr Wolfson said Corke, of North Street, Cromford, was arrested, charged and pleaded guilty to assaulting occasioning actual bodily harm.

He said: “In what can be described as a stoic victim impact statement the victim said although he found the attack frightening, his concern was what could have happened rather than what did happen.

“And he admits that he is a large chap that perhaps acted in a way that evening that others might have found annoying.”

As well as the suspended jail term, Recorder MacAdam ordered Corke to pay the victim £250 compensation, £100 costs and carry out 80 hours unpaid work.

Steven Taylor, for Corke, said his client was a married father who had worked as a department head in an environmental department at North East Derbyshire District Council but had been made redundant when cuts meant the whole department had to shut.

He said: “These are undoubtedly serious offences but he has shown genuine remorse from the start and this was something which was completely out of character.

“At the start of the inside he was trying to be chivalrous but something inside him snapped.”