An attacker who boasted on Facebook within minutes of smashing a woman’s jaw in a savage street assault has been called “cowardly” but allowed to keep his freedom.
Alan Taylor posted the words “wipe out” and “how’s about that” within minutes of leaving Holly McLean injured on the ground with her jaw broken in two places.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 30-year-old had already punched a man when trouble flared on Ocean Road in South Shields in the early hours of July 21 last year.
And when Miss McLean stepped in to try to help the victim, who was on the ground, she, too was knocked down with a single, forceful blow.
Taylor, of Canon Grove, Jarrow, denied causing grievous bodily harm on the basis he was acting in self-defence, which prosecutors branded a “ludicrous” excuse for his behaviour.
Jurors delivered a unanimous guilty verdict after a trial.
Judge Paul Sloan Qc said it was an “unprovoked and cowardly” attack and called Taylor’s self-defence claim a “nonsense”.
The judge sentenced him to 20 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and 200 hours’ unpaid work.
Taylor was ordered to pay £3,347 costs.
The judge said the suspended jail term would allow Taylor to keep his scaffolding job on the rigs and meet any claim for compensation.
Judge Sloan added: “This will prove to be an extremely expensive night out for him”.
The judge accepted Taylor is a “decent, hard- working individual” when sober.
Vince Ward, prosecuting, told the court at the trial: “The prosecution case is Miss McLean went to assist the man by stepping in between him and the defendant, at which point the defendant punched her, a single punch to the face, breaking her jaw in two places.”
A hospital X-ray initially failed to spot the double fracture and it was only when Miss McLean went to the dentist in pain four days later she was told it was broken.”
The court heard while Miss McLean was on her way to hospital after the attack, Taylor turned his attentions to Facebook.
Mr Ward added: “Within ten or 15 minutes of this happening, the defendant posted two comments on his Facebook wall, which the prosecution say are significant. The first, at 3.41am said ‘wipe out’ and seconds later ‘Hows about that’.”
The man who was punched made no complaint to police.