Manager broke worker’s jaw in row over paperwork

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A DUTY manager broke a worker’s jaw when he was called in during his time off to deal with a paperwork problem.

Gary Cummings, 55, fractured Colin Henson’s jaw in two places with a single blow, during his fury at being disturbed early in the morning on May 31.

Newcastle Crown Court heard HGV driver Mr Henson had delivered a trailer to the Oneworld Logistics depot, in Washington, that morning but the paperwork he needed to complete his job was missing.

Prosecutor Diane Spence told the court: “Mr Cummings was the manager for that day.

“He was not at work at that time but the loss of paperwork resulted in him being contacted by telephone.

“Mr Henson waited for Mr Cummings to arrive.

“Mr Cummings was not happy at being called in and said ‘you are not phoning me at 6am’.

“Mr Henson pointed out there was no paperwork and there was an exchange between the two men.

“Without any warning, Mr Cummings punched Mr Henson once in the face.

“Mr Henson described it being with an incredible amount of force.

“His head was forced up and he fell against the wall.

“He felt immediate pain to his upper and lower jaws, was bleeding from the mouth and felt sick.”

The court heard Mr Henson was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital where he was diagnosed as having a double fracture to his jaw.

He needed surgery and had a metal plate fitted into his jaw.

He may face further difficulties and surgery but specialists cannot yet give a definite prognosis. Cummings immediately admitted what he had done and expressed remorse when he was arrested.

Judge Brian Forster accepted Cummings, who has never been in trouble before and was sacked because of his behaviour that day, is ordinarily a law-abiding family man.

The judge told him: “Clearly this was an action that was out of character.

“As I understand you had been working long hours, were quite tired, clearly weren’t thinking clearly at the time and you regret what took place.”

Cummings, of Derwent Close, Sacriston, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

He was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months with supervision and ordered to pay £800 compensation.

Judge Forster told him: “It was a very nasty thing to do.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho