THUG Adam Yates inflicted a ‘punishment beating’ on a former colleague who was dating his teenage step-daughter, a court heard.
The 33-year-old tree surgeon broke his victim’s jaw after punching him to the floor and kicking him in the ribs.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Yates, of Chandlers Close, Hayling Island, left the 49-year-old with a broken jaw that needed metal plates and surgery.
Yates, who runs a landscaping and tree surgeon business on the island, was furious the man had been ‘embroiled’ in a relationship with his 19-year-old step-daughter.
Jailing Yates for two years, Recorder John Williams said: ‘It may be that you weren’t in fact looking for him but when you came across him you carried out what is nothing more than a punishment beating for, I daresay, what you perceived him to have done and were trying to stop him from doing.
‘Maybe in your heart of hearts you think you achieved that.’
He added: ‘Step back before the red mist comes.’
Yates admitted grievous bodily harm when he was due to stand trial for the more serious offence of GBH with intent.
But when he arrived at court prosecutor James Kellam revealed Yates had posted the previous night a Facebook tirade against the victim ‘just to set the record straight’.
In it Yates said the victim, who it was said had previous drug convictions, ‘thought it acceptable to manipulate and brainwash my then 19-year-old step-daughter plying her with coke... and joyriding in stolen vehicles’.
The judge handed Yates a restraining order banning him from contacting the victim, and from ‘making observations’ about him on Facebook.
Opening the case Mr Kellam said: ‘On November 3 last year at about 8pm the victim was walking, from his home, at the junction of Illets Walk and Fishery Lane.
‘The defendant stopped his car, took something out of the front door of his car and walked up to him. The victim took his hands out to shake it but was instead struck by the defendant at least once and on further occasions ending up on the floor.’
Yates, who has eight court appearances for 16 offences including robbery, burglary and fraud, had denied the more serious charge.
He was arrested after the victim identified him to police and denied the attack.
Mitigating, Mark Butler said the relationship had caused Yates ‘anxiety’.
‘There was an allegation he was supplying her drugs and taking her out in stolen cars,’ he said. ‘That led to the incident. He saw the victim, he asked him not to continue the relationship. The victim said he was going to continue.
‘Mr Yates saw red, lost his temper and threw the punch causing significant injury to the man’s jaw.’
He added: ‘He is remorseful, he accepts he shouldn’t have done it.’
Sentencing, the judge said character references showed Yates was ‘at heart a thoroughly decent hard-working family man’.
Investigating officer DC Alastair Charnley said: ‘The custodial sentence imposed by the judge reflects the severity of the offence. Hopefully the sentence finally brings some sense of closure to the victim.’