Dad-of-two broke man’s jaw with single punch in Chesterfield nightclub

Derby Crown Court.
Derby Crown Court.

A father of two “brought nothing but shame on his family” when he broke a man’s jaw with a single punch in a Chesterfield nightclub.

Judge John Burgess told Daniel Fletcher he used “gratuitous and unnecessary violence” against his victim on the dance floor of the Association Bar, in Corporation Street.

Derby Crown Court was told that Fletcher was out with his fiancée and other friends to commemorate the anniversary of another friend’s death on the night violence happened.

CCTV footage played in the court showed Fletcher and the victim talking while people danced before the 26-year-old lands one, hard, left handed punch to the man’s face knocking him to the floor.

The victim sustained a fractured jaw and Mark Watson, prosecuting, told how he had to spend two nights in hospital having a plate fitted.

Judge Burgess, handing Fletcher a suspended sentence, said: “Do you take pride in being a father?

“Do you take your job as a father seriously?

“You will not be able to do that job if you are locked up in Nottingham Prison.

“You have brought nothing but shame on your family and (if he is locked up) your children will have to explain where you are.

“You will not be doing the school run for one.

“What you did was gratuitous, you broke this man’s jaw, he had to have a plate fitted.”

Mr Watson told the hearing how the incident happened on November 28 last year.

Fletcher, of Blunt Avenue, Mastin Moor, was with his friends and the victim was with his in the bar.

Mr Watson said: “The defendant went up to the victim and put his arm around his shoulder.

“The gist of their conversation was that no-one wanted any trouble, but the defendant did not keep his side of the bargain.

“He punched him to the side of the face causing him to fall backwards.

“What then followed was pushing and shoving involving a few people and the defendant was ultimately removed from the bar.”

Fletcher was arrested, charged and pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Mr Watson said: “Consequently, the victim suffered a fractured jaw and had to stay two nights in hospital.

“Subsequently he had difficulty eating for some time and said he now feels on edge when he goes out in public.”

Benjamin Harvey, for Fletcher, said: “Mr Fletcher is a father-of-two and that night out was a rarity with his fiancée and friends and was commemorating the anniversary of the death of a friend.

“There was a bit of a sombre atmosphere and he found himself in drink.”

Judge Burgess handed Fletcher a six-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, ordered him to undertake 80 hours unpaid work and he must also pay £1,000 compensation to his victim.

He will also be the subject of a curfew for four months, confining him to his home address seven days a week between 8pm and 6am.