Portsmouth man spared jail for 'severe' attack on semi-pro rugby player outside Pryzm nightclub

A RUGBY player was forced to undergo three hours of surgery after suffering multiple fractures when he was punched outside a nightclub.

Sunday, 24th January 2021, 11:17 am

Harry Martin was set upon by dad-to-be Braden Hayes in Stanhope Road, opposite Pryzm nightclub, who hit him to the side of the head after being told: ‘You don't have any guns.’

Prosecutor Grace Ong said the victim ended up on the ground in the 3am attack, waking up in hospital with multiple fractures to his cheek and eye socket.

Mr Martin was coughing up blood when he awoke and his nose was still bleeding 12 hours later. He suffered a break across his sinus.

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The Catherine House hall of residence and Pryzm nightclub in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Facial reconstruction surgery was needed and he needed three plates in his face - meaning he could not pursue his semi-professional rugby career for three months.

The blows to his face destroyed nerve endings in his cheek, Ms Ong told Portsmouth Crown Court. His peripheral vision remains affected and he is ‘not out of the woods yet,’ the court heard.

When Mr Martin’s friend Thomas Payne tried to intervene he was punched to the left side of his face by Hayes, and went crashing to the ground.

Hayes’ pal, trainee bricklayer Alfie Walker, had earlier sworn at Mr Martin and pushed him while face to face in the incident on September 8, 2019.

Hayes, who fled but was arrested at 3.33am, told the police officer: ‘I done it.’

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After sobering up he told police interview he was ‘obviously very drunk’ and officers ‘could tell by his hand he had done it,’ the prosecutor said.

Victim Mr Martin’s ‘anxiety levels are high,’ Ms Ong said.

Walker was identified on CCTV and questioned in December where he said he was ‘too intoxicated to recall what happened’.

Daniel Reilly, mitigating, said his client Hayes delivered a single blow, had cut back his drinking, and is set to become a dad in May.

Addressing a remorseful Hayes, Recorder Simon Levene said: ‘It was a severe blow with severe consequences. What aggravates the offences is firstly the location of the offence, it was in public, there were people milling around.

‘It was a frightening situation, even for those who didn’t get injured and you were drunk. I’m quite sure you wouldn’t have committed the offence if you hadn’t been drunk.’

Hayes, 23, of Peak Road, Clanfield, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and must pay £2,500 compensation to Mr Martin.

He was handed an eight-month jail term suspended for 18 months with 180 hours’ unpaid work.

Unrepresented Walker, 21, of Edgar Road, West Drayton, Hillingdon, admitted affray and was handed a one-month jail term suspended for a year.

He told the judge ‘what I done was wrong’ and he had ‘looked back’ at what he did, got rid of friends who were a bad influence and ‘taken myself out that situation’.

Neither men have previous convictions.

Pryzm security staff looked after Mr Martin in welfare room before he went to hospital.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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