London, Sept 21: A 51-year-old drunken man who attacked an Indian-origin pub owner that left him with a gash to his head and a broken finger has been jailed for two and a half years by a British court.
Mark Prince tore apart a beer can and assaulted Jaswinder Singh Thandi with it when Thandi asked Prince to move from the doorway of his pub in southeast England's Kent area on March 16 this year, Maidstone Crown Court was told.
Prince, a former Oxford University student, then spat in Thandi's face and the victim spat back at him and walked away to his car. Prince spat on the car and then lashed out at Thandi, striking him on the shoulder. The victim tried to fight back.
Judge Michael Carroll said Thandi's retaliation: "What is the victim to do stand there and let himself be beaten up? I think not." Matters came to a head when Prince ripped his beer can in half and struck Thandi in the face, causing a gash to his forehead, the prosecution said. When arrested, Prince claimed "he hit me first.
We had a private fight." But he later pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding. The victim went to the hospital and discovered he also had a broken little finger on his left hand.
Prosecutor Paul Valder said Prince had a number of previous convictions, mainly for drunkenness and assault. His defence lawyer, Catharine Donnelly, said her client had a long mental health history and drinking was part and parcel of his illness. "He has led a difficult life.
This is far and away the most serious offence he has committed," she said. Judge Carroll said it was a frightening attack which had a lasting effect for the victim. He told Prince: "It is beyond dispute that you have mental difficulties.
However, it is well known to you that if you drink you come into conflict with people, and you have done that on a regular basis. "You have not committed anything of this magnitude before. This was a sustained and repeated assault."