A violent electrician who broke a doorman’s jaw in an “appalling” unprovoked attack has been handed a suspended prison term.
His attack was so savage the doorman needed surgery and has problems eating and drinking, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.
Bespectacled Claughan, of William Forster Close, Columbia, Washington, struck seconds after the man had helped a woman who had suffered a fall on Friday, March 13 last year.
Claughan’s crime was so serious he brought a bag to court in expectation of being put behind bars.
But magistrates stepped back from that option after hearing he had no previous convictions and was genuinely remorseful.
They jailed him for 23 weeks, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to pay his victim £2,500 compensation,
Prosecutor Gurjot Kaur said: “At around 11pm, the door supervisor saw a woman fall at the bar and he and colleagues went to attend.
“The defendant walked in with five or six other men. Normally they would have been challenged about what they were wearing.
“Unprovoked, the defendant has punched his victim in the face with a clenched fist.
“The man has lost two teeth and suffered a fractured jaw. He had to have surgery at Sunderland Royal Hospital.”
The court heard Claughan had denied the attack, but changed his plea to guilty.
In a victim statement read to the court, the victim said: “I was just doing my job.
“I shouldn’t have to put up with people thinking they can attack me.
“I’ve had to change my drinking and eating habits.”
John Brown, defending, said: “He found himself in the club. He became aware of the victim.
“He thought, wrongly, that he was causing trouble with one of his friends.
“There was no premeditation. It was a single blow. He hit his jaw and broke his jaw and knocked his teeth out.
“He did apologise and was taken outside by the other doormen and chastised by them.
“He’s a young man of no previous convictions. He wants me today on his behalf to apologise.
“He is remorseful. Unlike some who come here, he means it.”
Tony Hewiston, chairman of the magistrates’ bench, said: “It was an unprovoked attack on a person just doing their job. You caused quite significant injuries.
“We’ve no hesitation telling you, therefore, that it crosses the custodial threshold.
“We take note of your previous good character and remorse.
“You’ve got to realise how lucky you are. What you did was an appalling act against a person.”
Claughan, who pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, must pay £300 court costs.
There was no victim surcharge.
Source – Sunderland Echo