Thug jailed after breaking man’s jaw outside Sunderland bar

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A Sunderland thug who broke a man’s jaw in two places while still on bail for another attack has been jailed.

Reece Barkley, 22, punched Alex Bowman in the face outside Ttonic bar in Vine Place in the early hours of May 10.

This is the type of behaviour that when it happens once is serious enough but a second time indicates a pattern.

Recorder James Brown

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the victim needed two metal plates put into his face after breaking his jaw in two places in the unprovoked attack.

Mark Giuliani prosecuting said: “Mr Bowman was approached by the defendant after he ran up behind him and punched him once in the face, knocking him to the ground.

“The police were nearby and saw what happened so arrested the defendant immediately.

“In interview the defendant made no comment.”

In an impact statement Mr Bowman said that he still suffers from discomfort in his jaw and is now very worried about going out into town and socialising with his friends.

The injury also prevented him from working for a short while afterwards.

The court heard that Barkley was still on bail for another assault that happened last April on another man.

Mr Giuliani said: “The victim in the first attack last April was out in Sunderland with two female friends.

“One of the girls asked the defendant for a lighter and they began talking. For some reason he soon became aggressive and one of the girls told him to calm down.

“The defendant then asked the victim if he was with the girls and then punched him in the face, breaking his jaw.”

Barkley, of Moreland Street, Roker - who has a previous conviction for racially aggravated assault - pleaded guilty to two counts of wounding or inflicting serious bodily harm.

Graham Cook defending said: “The circumstances of the first assault in 2014 was that he had been drinking and it was a stupid unprovoked attack.

“He then entered the Army but was unfortunately medically discharged in March of this year, something that he is working towards getting back into.

“Both offences occurred when the defendant was in drink but he hasn’t drank alcohol for three months and he has given up smoking. He has done this to try and get back to full fitness to re-enter the Army.”

He added: “He is remorseful of the second attack and accepts what he did was wrong.”

Mr Cook said that in both offences it was a single blow that Barkley threw and there was clear remorse.

Sentencing Barkley to 32 months in prison with a restraining order against Mr Bowman Recorder James Brown said: “You have pleaded guilty to two offences which amount to nothing more than drunken violence.

“This is the type of behaviour that when it happens once is serious enough but a second time indicates a pattern.

“The fact that there is a previous offence of the same nature is an aggravating feature.”

He added: “People out enjoying themselves should not be assaulted.”