A SUTTON dad who punched a clubber in the face and then head-butted his victim’s girlfriend has been spared jail.
Edward Johnson and Chloe Hodson were standing at the door to a smoking area at Ripley’s Regal Club at 3am when Matthew Upton walked past and pushed her out of the way.
She turned to face him, thinking she must know him, and he grabbed her arms. Mr Johnson then removed Upton’s grip on her.
Chesterfield magistrates were told that a fight later broke out in the club which resulted in Mr Johnson, Ms Hodson and others being ejected.
Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, said the couple were waiting for a taxi when Upton (31) was thrown out of the club.
He approached Mr Johnson and asked: “What are you going to do now we’re outside?”.
He then pushed Mr Johnson’s chest and punched him on the jaw.
“Ms Hodson helped her boyfriend and the defendant head-butted her on the nose with full force.
“He had reeled his head back as if he was going to head a football, knocking her backwards and causing her nose to bleed,” said Mrs Griffiths.
She added: “A witness said he was disgusted by what he had seen and the defendant showed no compassion and was stood by a wall, winking.”
Upton was arrested and told police he had not grabbed Ms Hodson in the club but had “played a game called elbows where you touch people you don’t know with your elbow”.
He claimed he was later confronted by a group including Mr Johnson outside the club.
He believed he had not assaulted Mr Johnson but he accepted attacking Ms Hodson, saying that was unreasonable because he was much taller than her.
Upton, a fabricator, of Bloomer Wood View, Sutton, admitted two charges of assault. He had previously been convicted of burglary and theft.
The bench had warned he could be locked up but, after listening to a probation service report, they ordered him to do 160-hours work.
He must also pay £150 compensation to Ms Hodson and £100 to Mr Johnson, with £85 costs.
“It was just one blow against each complainant. At the time he was staying with a friend in Ripley following a domestic difficulty with his partner which has been resolved,” said John Kavanagh, for the father-of-three.