Pub Landlord Receives Suspended Sentence for Assault

Non-custodial sentence - no prison
7 July, 2022

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Case study summary

Our client was a former pub landlord charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) after attacking one of his customers. He accepted that he had committed this offence and pleaded guilty. We persuaded the court not to send him to prison.

Case study

Our client was a hardworking businessman with no previous convictions. He had pleaded guilty to assaulting one of his former customers and was terrified about the prospect of going to prison. He helped care for his mother and was worried about what would happen to her if he could not be there. He decided to contact our specialist criminal lawyers.

Our client had experienced very difficult circumstances in the lead-up to the assault. Prior to the lockdown, he had been running a successful pub but had struggled to pay the basic costs during the Covid-19 pandemic. He made the difficult decision to sell the business he had spent many years building.

On the day of the incident, when the client had been out drinking with his friends, he saw a pub customer who was bragging about not paying his bar tab at our client's establishment. Our client, fuelled by alcohol and very upset at that loss of his business, acted out of character and hit him multiple times.

The police were called and our client was arrested. He was not legally represented in this police interview and admitted the assault. He was devastated and shocked at how he had acted.

There were several factors which made the offence more serious and put our client at risk of going to prison. Firstly, in his police interview, the client accepted that he was very drunk. When sentencing, Judges take a very dim view of people who have allowed themselves to get so drunk they lose control. Secondly, the injury was quite serious. The complainant had received an injury to his eyeball that took many weeks to heal as well as two fractures around his eye, causing him a great deal of pain.

Clearly, this offence was wholly out of character for our client and was the result of the very difficult circumstances he found himself in. We used a selection of character references to put this offence into the proper context and to let the Judge know who our client really was.

We then hand-selected an experienced barrister who used the material we gathered to tell the court how this was a man who truly regretted his actions and there was no risk of him reoffending. The court agreed to give our client a suspended sentence, meaning he will not go to prison.

The client was relieved that he avoided a prison sentence and recently secured a new job. He is looking forward to moving on with his life and spending time with his mother.

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