Jail for man who left stranger with "two nasty black eyes" following South Yorkshire bar attack

A man was left with two black eyes and ongoing health problems after being attacked in a South Yorkshire bar by a stranger who had been released from prison four weeks earlier.

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 11:30 am

The incident took place at Pockets Bar in Barnsley on October 12 last year, when the victim was out with two friends – all of whom were in “good spirits,” prosecutor Andrew Smith told Sheffield Crown Court.

When one of the victim’s friends returned to the bar after going outside for a cigarette he was “pursued” by defendant Dale Harrison, 25, who began “shouting aggressively” said Mr Smith.

Mr Smith added: "The defendant said: ‘What the **** are you doing?’...and when the victim arrived he thought this man is clearly out for trouble.”

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Harrison was jailed during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday, November 16

The victim’s friend told Harrison that he “did not want any trouble” but this did not calm matters down and Harrison was joined by a second attacker named Connor Dokic.

A short time later, Harrison approached the victim with “outstretched arms” and punched him “two or three times” which caused the victim to fall “to the floor” where he was kicked by Dokic, 26.

"Once the victim was punched to the face by this defendant [Harrison] all hell broke loose and he didn’t really know what happened after that,” said Mr Smith.

The victim suffered two black eyes in the attack, which required hospital treatment as well as ongoing treatment with an opthalmologist and optician – some of which has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement to the court, the victim described how he had lost his job following the attack because of being off for “so long” due to his injuries; and said he felt it still affected both him, and his family, “day to day.”

The court was told that Harrison, of Dales Crescent, has two previous convictions for robbery and was only released from a three year sentence for the most recent offence four weeks before the attack took place. Due to being on license at the time of the attack, Harrison was recalled to prison in October 2019 before being released in September this year.

Harrison pleaded guilty to offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray at an earlier hearing.

Dokic, of no fixed abode, was charged with the same offences and was dealt with at a separate hearing when he was sentenced to a total of 15 months for the two offences.

Carl Fitchley, defending, said Harrison was “genuinely remorseful” for his actions and acknowledged his client was under the influence of drink and drugs at the time of the attack.

Judge Graham Reeds QC sentenced Harrison to 58 weeks in prison.

"You had been drinking and picked a fight on people you didn’t know and it developed from there,” said Judge Reeds.

He added: “The injuries to the victim were two nasty black eyes which needed hospital treatment.”

South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Harrison.

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