South Witham man jailed after knocking man unconscious with a single blow

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A South Witham man has been jailed for 10 months after Lincoln Crown Court heard how he knocked a man unconscious during a street incident following a 21st birthday party.

Lee Rhodes delivered a single blow which felled his victim and left him with brain injuries. Edna Leonard, prosecuting, said the attack happened on a night when a mass brawl broke out in South Witham following a party in the local community centre.

She told the court: “Police were called out and arrived to find between 50 and 80 people in the street. One male was lying on the floor receiving first aid and officers were informed of several fights breaking out around the village.

“The defendant was not involved in the mass brawl but he came to have words with the complainant. Following a verbal exchange the defendant then delivered one punch that left the victim unconscious on the floor.”

The victim was taken to hospital but initially there was no indication of the severity of his injury and he was discharged at 5am. But the following day he complained of feeling sick and dizzy. An ambulance was called and he was taken back to hospital.

Doctors then discovered he had more serious injuries than was first thought including damage to his brain. He has since suffered loss of smell and taste as well as memory loss.

Miss Leonard added “The victim struggles to concentrate and he is still suffering from dizziness. He says the impact on his life has been massive.”

Rhodes, 24, of Great Close, South Witham, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm on July 27, 2013.

Judge Sean Morris told him: “When you assault people you never know what damage you are going to do. In this case the injury was extremely serious.”

Andrew Howarth, defending, said Rhodes delivered a single blow and then ran away. He said: “The significant and serious consequences were not intended. He has spent five years avoiding getting into trouble until this situation where there appears to have been general mayhem.”

He said that Rhodes lost his job as a result of the incident.