Party gatecrasher jailed for bricking host

Gary Watkins

Gary Watkins

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A PARTY gatecrasher has been locked up for four years for assaulting his reluctant hosts.

Gary Watkins attacked the Chester-le-Street couple after they asked him to leave their home, Durham Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Jane Waugh said: “It was about midnight when Watkins was asked to leave.

“He responded by knocking the woman to the floor.

“As he made his way out, he picked up a brick, and as witnesses said, slammed it into the face of the woman’s partner.

“He then removed his T-shirt and waved it above his head, cheering loud and proud.”

The court heard the injured man suffered a fractured jaw, and his upper lip was partly detached from his face.

The woman suffered scratches to her neck, hips and shoulder.

Ms Waugh said Watkins was aggressive and abusive to staff at a Sainsbury’s store an hour before the assault when they refused to serve him vodka.

Watkins, 20, of Wynyard, Chester-le-Street, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent, common assault, and using threatening words or behaviour, all on December 29, last year.

He has a previous conviction for attempted robbery.

Tom Moran, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Watkins was under the influence of drink and drugs that night, although he realises that is not an excuse.

“The catalyst for this offending was an incident outside the house in which his mother had a clump of her hair pulled out.

“He did not go to that house that night seeking a fight.”

The Recorder, Mr Ben Nolan QC, sentenced Watkins to four years in a young offenders’ institution.

The Recorder told him: “The couple were merely trying to preserve calm in their house that night.

“Your response to their requests was quite appalling.”