Exmouth man jailed after fight

An Exmouth man who went out drinking and looking for a fight has been jailed by a judge who said it was behaviour like his that made ordinary people scared to go out on the streets at night.

An Exmouth man who went out drinking and 'looking for a fight' has been jailed by a judge who said it was behaviour like his that made ordinary people 'scared to go out on the streets at night.'

Exeter Crown Court heard David Holland, the victim of the attack, ended up in intensive care with a serious head injury. The back of his head was split open and he spent five days in hospital, while the severity of his injury was assessed by surgeons.

Prosecutor Chris Bennett made it plain that the defendant, 30-year-old Christopher Blackmore only punched Mr Holland once and he was not responsible for the victim falling to the ground and sustaining the major injury to his head.

The incident which happened in Fore Street, Exeter, at around midnight in April, last year, was captured on close circuit surveillance cameras, which showed Blackmore launching the totally unprovoked assault on Mr Holland, who retaliated with vigour. Other people then became involved and it was later in the incident that the victim sustained the head injury.

The prosecutor said, in all, three people were attacked that night, including an off-duty police officer, and two men were awaiting sentence for their parts in the punch up.

The court heard that Blackmore has previous convictions for violence and had served a three-year term in 2003, for wounding.

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Mitigating, Nigel Wraith said Blackmore was shocked, ashamed and mortified when shown the surveillance footage of what had happened.

He accepted that he had started the incident and that, when he got drunk, he behaved stupidly.

He also accepted that he had told a probation officer that he had gone out looking for a fight.

Blackmore, of Bankside, Exmouth, pleaded guilty to assault and was jailed for nine months.

Passing sentence Judge Graham Cottle told him: "The CCTV footage captures, in its entirety, the part you played in this incident. You punched Mr Holland without any justification and that started everything off.

"Then a serious fight takes place in the centre of Exeter and one of the reasons the courts view these matters seriously is that they have the effect of making people apprehensive and scared of being involved in this sort of violence. I have to make it clear that custodial sentences will be the result of incidents like this.