Budleigh boxer cleared of causing grievous bodily harm
PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 February 2017
An amateur boxer from Budleigh Salterton has been cleared of breaking a Subway customer's jaw after telling a jury he was acting in self-defence.
Daniel Yolland was found not guilty at Exeter Crown Court after he said he was petrified when he threw a single punch at a stranger who was advancing towards him in a closing-time confrontation.
Yolland left victim James Nix with a broken jaw, cheek bone and eye socket after he was knocked to the ground at a bus stop near the Subway shop in Sidwell Street, Exeter, at 3am on December 28, 2015.
He thought Mr Nix had mistaken him for his twin brother Alex, who had been involved in a shouting match with two girls just moments earlier in which one was seen waving her stiletto heel in the air.
Yolland, 21, of Stoneborough Lane, denied causing grievous bodily harm and was found not guilty.
The prosecution said he launched an unprovoked attack on 26-year-old Mr Nix after a clash between two groups, which had both left the Unit 1 club and gone to buy food at Subway.
Yolland said he acted in self-defence because he believed he was about to be attacked. He said his intention was to ‘stun and run’ to get away from the trouble.
He said he felt defenceless because he had broken his right hand in a boxing accident three months earlier.
Yolland said the other man was approaching him and saying: “I’ll do him.”
He said: “I thought he meant me and I was scared. I decided to hit him and run away. I went for a stun and run.
“I was petrified at the time I hit him. I had a broken hand and I was defenceless. The man’s gestures were intimidating. I felt I had to hit him to defend myself and get away.
“He had his arms out and I just hit him with a normal punch. It was just hit and run - hit and go.
“He came towards me, shouting he was going to do someone and I was convinced it was me.
“His whole demeanour was of a man who was not going to run away. I felt he was going to attack me. I felt I was in trouble. It was just a natural reaction to the intimidating circumstances.
“I knew how to defend myself and used it at the right time. I’m gutted at the way it turned out. There were blatant gestures from him. I’m not the sort of person to run up to someone and hit them.
“I just saw an aggressive stance and him coming towards me. He was wearing baggy jeans and looked like an intimidating person.
“I never thought I could inflict injuries like that. It was just a defence punch so I could get away.
“I’m not a nasty person. I never intended what happened. It was self-defence. I was petrified at the time and petrified when he went to the floor.”