Portsmouth man jailed for attacking victim who came to aid of Southsea pub landlord in altercation

A THUG who swung a metal bar at a man’s head in a street brawl has been jailed.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 4:29 pm

Ross Hardy hit Paul Connor outside the Marmion Tavern in Marmion Road, Southsea, before another man drove a Fiat Punto into the 37-year-old victim.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Mr Connor, who had been drinking in the pub, was helping the Marmion’s owner Jorgen McMillan who was involved in an altercation with the Punto driver, Ryan Balch.

Prosecutor Robin Sellers said there had first been a ‘verbal altercation’ between Mr McMillan and his ex-partner Danielle Connor outside the pub on August 23.

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Ross Hardy was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court. Picture: Hampshire police

It was in a second later altercation on the same day, when Balch, Hardy and Miss Connor returned that the violence erupted - with Mr McMillan emerging from the pub when his Mercedes was damaged.

Mr Connor came to the publican’s aid but was then punched and struck with the bar by Hardy, 36, who was just six months out of jail.

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As reported, Balch was jailed for four years and six months after sending Mr Connor flying onto the bonnet before he thumped against the windscreen and hit the ground.

He only needed four stitches to his head and four stitches to his knee after he avoided further injuries.

Judge William Ashworth jailed Hardy, of Garfield Road, Buckland, for 27 months, saying he had been ‘repeatedly convicted of violent offences’ and also handed some suspended sentences.

Hardy was only six months out of prison having served nearly all of a 54-month term for repeatedly stamping on a man’s head after a night out in Southsea.

‘Within a period of six months of your release from service almost all of a 54-month sentence in relation to a previous (offence) you attended a scene in the company of Mr Balch, where Mr Balch’s intention was clear to have a fight with the publican at the Marmion public house and to whose defence Paul Connor came.

‘You punched Mr Connor and then were handed an iron bar by Mr Balch and you struck Mr Connor over the head with it and struck the back of the publican’s car.’

Paul Walker, for Hardy, said although probation ruled his client dangerous the court should not impose an extended sentence. Hardy had completed courses in prison, he said.

‘He’s a man who has worked throughout his adult life when he’s not been in prison,’ Mr Walker said.

Hardy admitted wounding and damaging the Mercedes.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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