Golfer ‘could have been blinded’ in Boxing Day glassing attack at Rainworth Miners Welfare

NEWS from Nottingham Crown Court.
NEWS from Nottingham Crown Court.

A keen golfer was scarred for life and “could have been blinded” after a sickening, drunken assault that marred Christmas at Rainworth Miners Welfare, a court heard.

Scott Krokoszynski, who works as an assistant greenkeeper at Rufford Park Golf Club, was head-butted and ‘glassed’ by Luke Chamberlain in the Boxing Day violence.

The 26-year-old Chamberlain, of Merryvale Drive, Mansfield, would have carried on the attack but for being dragged away by others, Nottingham Crown Court was told.

He avoided a lengthy term in prison “by a hairsbreadth” when he was sentenced by Judge James Rafferty, who branded his behaviour as “appalling”.

“But for a few inches of skin, you could have blinded a man who had not made any sort of aggressive move towards you at all,” Judge Rafferty told him.

“It was a classically depressing Christmas situation. The season of goodwill? What a joke! Everyone goes out and gets drunk, behaves like cretins and animals, and the body count goes up.”

In sentencing Chamberlain to a two-year prison-term, suspended for two years, and a community order for the same length of time, the judge told him: “You were undoubtedly drunk because it unleashed a temper that you can normally control. You were so drunk that you even forgot you had a glass in your hand. But that is no excuse.”

Chamberlain, who pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding, was ordered to pay Mr Krokoszynski compensation of £2,500 for his injuries, which were described as “gruesome”.

The golfer, who has also worked at the world-famous Gleneagles course in the past, sustained a three-inch laceration to his face, which needed eight stitches, further cuts and also a shoulder injury when he was knocked to the ground.

In a statement read to the court, he said: “I have just been able to resume playing golf, but I still have some pain and discomfort in my shoulder. I am permanently scarred on the left side of my face, and I still feel on edge when I go out.”

The court heard that the clash happened at about 9 pm in the outside smoking area of the Kirklington Road welfare.

Gareth Gimson, prosecuting, said Mr Krokoszynski had been at the venue since 4.30 pm and had drunk about six pints when he went over to intervene in an argument Chamberlain was having with another man.

“He walked over and said: you should leave,” Mr Gimson went on. “His behaviour wasn’t threatening but, suddenly, he felt a blow and fell to the ground. He couldn’t get back to his feet, and there was blood everywhere.”

CCTV footage of the incident was played in court, which also heard that when he was pulled away, Chamberlain himself was attacked by others at the welfare in what was described by his barrister, Julia King, mitigating, as “rough summary justice”. He suffered a broken nose, a fractured rib and two black eyes, and had to spend a night in hospital.

However, he received little sympathy from the judge, who told him: “If you were beaten up afterwards, tough. You lit the fuse. I am not justifying violent conduct, but tough.”

Miss King said the whole episode had been “a salutary lesson” for Chamberlain, who had never been in any criminal trouble before.

“He is genuinely remorseful and shocked by his behaviour,” said Miss King. “He has no recollection of it.

“For the rest of his life, he has behaved impeccably. He is a hard-working man, who has been self-employed since leaving school and has built up a thriving business.

“References describe him as courteous, polite, conscientious and considerate. He is a good and dedicated father with a young son.

“He had a very positive future ahead of him. This offence was utterly out of character.”

In conclusion, the judge added: “I have read the references. But it is a shame you weren’t thinking of your child that night. You have let yourself down, your family down and, most of all, your son down.

“Do you deserve a prison sentence? Absolutely. You get this one last chance. You do not ever deserve another.”