Plasterer jailed for town centre attack

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A TRAINEE plasterer drunkenly punched a man before kicking his victim while he was on the ground.

Benjamin Ashton suffered a broken nose and fractured cheekbone after he was felled by a single blow and then had his head stamped upon by 21-year-old Michael Johnson.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the attack happened at Rotherham’s Main Street taxi rank last July, after Mr Ashton intervened in a row between his friend Joe Smith and Johnson.

Mr Smith had been in a scuffle in a pizza place after chatting up Johnson’s girlfriend.

When Mr Ashton arrived to help Johnson chased him, threw a punch and knocked Mr Ashton to the ground.

Elizabeth Martin, prosecuting, said that as Mr Ashton lay unconscious, Johnson stamped on his face.

Mr Ashton was taken to hospital, where he was found to have a fractured left cheekbone and broken nose.

The court heard Johnson had been convicted of a public order offence in Doncaster in 2008 when he was 17.

He also had a drunk and disorderly conviction from the same year and in 2009 was given a community order for a drugs offence.

Johnson, of Herringthorpe Valley Road, Rotherham, admitted causing grievous bodily harm.

Patrick Duffy, for Johnson, said: “It was a stupid random attack of violence.”

Jailing Johnson for 18 months, Judge Alan Goldsack QC told him: “This is an example of serious town centre violence.”