Man knocked out fellow wedding guest near Chipping Norton

9

A self-confessed ‘complete dd’ left a friend requiring a hearing aid after he knocked him out with a single punch at a wedding.

Both Nathan Warby and his victim were said to have been trying to break up a dispute in the early hours of May 1 at the wedding reception at Merriscourt, near Chipping Norton.

But mobile phone footage showed the moment when, amid raucous scenes outside the reception venue, 33-year-old dad Warby swung a single punch at the other man.

His victim was knocked to the ground. The fall fractured his skull, left him with a bleed on the brain and caused him to lose his hearing.

Warby initially walked away but returned when he realised the man was unconscious on the ground.

He was immediately contrite, Oxford Crown Court was told on Thursday. When police officers arrived, he confessed to what had happened.

In a police interview, he told detectives that he had been a ‘complete dhead’ and had too much to drink. He added that he was ‘massively sorry and full of regret’.

Mitigating, Holly Newing said her client had written a letter of apology to the victim of the assault.

The day of the wedding had been ‘amazing’, the defendant had said. He and the victim were ‘having a laugh’ at the reception.

However, when he was told that his mother was ‘being attacked’ by the victim’s wife he became involved in the fracas.

The defendant was said to have received minor injuries as a result of trying to separate the women.

In an impact statement read to the court by prosecutor Steven Molloy, the victim said the assault left him deaf and he was waiting for surgery to fit a hearing aid.

He was unable to work for eight weeks. A mechanical maintenance engineer, his hearing loss had affected his ability to contribute in meetings and meant he was ‘unable to fault find’ engineering issues.

“I just want to be able to get back to how my life was,” he said.

Warby, of Great Horwood, near Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty at the first hearing in the magistrates’ court to causing grievous bodily harm.

The court heard he had two previous convictions but these were so old the judge said he would treat the defendant as a man of effectively previous good character.

Eight character references had been written on his behalf and Warby had penned his own letter of remorse to the court.

Recorder Geraint Jones KC sentenced him to eight months’ imprisonment suspended for a year and a half with 100 hours of unpaid work, up to 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days and costs of £125.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire’s court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward