Assault teen ‘not a violent person’

A pub landlord was felled with a single punch after he had gone out onto Chapel-en-le-Frith Market Place to tell a noisy group to quieten down.

Gareth Jones had gone over to the public toilets in the early hours of December 29, 2010, however one of the group took exception to what he said and told him to mind his own business.

Mr Jones walked back to the pub and remembered lying on the floor in the foyer of the pub. He had suffered a cut near his eye and was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital.

Shane Kevin Hesketh, 18, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm when he appeared before High Peak magistrates.

Representing himself, he said: “I would just like to say I am sorry for what I have done. It was not appropriate and I realise the seriousness of what had happened.

“I am not a violent person, I’m a good lad and don’t go round hitting people.”

Hesketh, who had never been in trouble before, said he had been drinking but said he had not been drunk.

He told magistrates, and the police when he was arrested, that he had reacted badly after being called an insulting name.

Magistrate Hilary Batterbee said: “This offence is aggravated in that it was town centre violence late at night and in drink.

“The licensee was acting within his public duty in asking the group to calm down when he heard a noise and commotion.

“Regardless of what was said it does not give you the right to punch someone in the face.”

Hesketh, of Anchor Avenue, Chapel, was given a four month community order with a curfew requirement, tailored to fit in with his work requirements.

He was ordered to pay £85 costs and £750 compensation to Mr Jones.