Man knocked out by single punch

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A TEENAGE football coach who left a man with serious facial injuries after punching him in a nightclub has escaped jail.

Ashley Wilson knocked Haydn Clarke unconscious during the incident in Loaded on March 17.

Mr Clark’s right cheekbone and eye socket were fractured resulting in reconstructive surgery when metal plates and screws were inserted together with titanium mesh.

Wilson (19), of Race Ground, Spalding, appeared at Lincoln Crown Court when he admitted a charge of causing grievous bodily harm.

He was given a community order with 300 hours’ unpaid work and was ordered to pay £500 compensation.

Judge Sean Morris told him: “I am taking an exceptional course in this case. Ordinarily for an offence like this I would lock you up.

“Violence on the streets and in clubs is unacceptable. However, this was one blow. That is not excusing it but there was no repeated punching and there was no kicking.

“You stayed at the scene and made admissions to the police on your arrest. I have read testimonials about you and how you have helped young people by coaching them at football. You are ordinarily a decent and nice man who acted out of character.”

Esther Harrison, prosecuting, said: “The last thing he (Mr Clarke) could remember is talking with friends. He came round in a back room to find his face and clothes covered with blood.”

When police arrived at the scene Wilson admitted: “I smacked him. He was looking at my missus.”

Charles Snelling, defending, said Wilson had been shaken by what happened.

He said Wilson had been “living the dream” working as a football coach but lost his position as a result of the offence and is now a bricklayer.

He added: “He is a nice young man who has behaved in a terrible way.”