Man jailed after nighclub attack

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A Ripon man has been jailed for smashing a bottle in a clubber’s face during an unprovoked attack in the city.

Philip Wilson, 37, assaulted the man on a balcony above the dance floor at The Matrix nightclub.

The victim was knocked unconscious after being hit on the side of the face. He suffered cuts and bruises to his lip and jaw and a black eye.

Wilson, of Oak Road, was later arrested after being identified by a club doorman, but initially denied the offence. However, he admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm on the day of trial.

During the sentence hearing at York Crown Court on Monday, prosecuting barrister Katherine Stuckey said Wilson was a man with a history of violence who had served a prison sentence in 2008 for beating up his former partner. Ms Stuckey said the victim in the nightclub attack - which happened in the early hours of April 27 last year - felt too intimidated to give evidence in public. He was struck with a single blow at about 3.45am after Wilson, who had drunk up to 11 pints of beer, crept up to him near the dance floor.

The victim, who was named in court, felt a “large blow” and then fell to the floor unconscious, his face covered in blood. Ms Stuckey said the victim’s friend had been sprayed with glass during the attack, suggesting the bottle had smashed on impact. An ambulance arrived and took the victim to Harrogate Hospital. He suffered a number of injuries, including a cut to his arm, which suggested he had fallen on broken glass.

“The attack was completely unprovoked,” said Ms Stuckey. “The victim says the defendant was completely unknown to him, and he hadn’t seen or spoken to him inside the club.”

The court heard Wilson had previous convictions for 15 violent offences including ABH and threatening behaviour. In 2003 he was jailed for four years for GBH. Defence barrister Camille Morland said Wilson, a father who works as a cable puller, had a “deep problem” with alcohol, which was the root cause of his violent tendencies. She said he was so drunk in the nightclub he had no recollection of the attack, but owned up to the offence after being shown CCTV footage of the incident. Judge Mr DP Hunt said the attack was “so grave” that only an immediate jail sentence could be justified “as proper punishment for what you did, and to make it clear that violence on this scale in nightclubs is treated very seriously by the courts”.

Wilson was jailed for 10 months and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100.