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Two men fined after gay jibe led to violent attack in Yeovil pub

By Western Gazette - Yeovil  |  Posted: November 27, 2013

Two men fined after gay jibe led to violent attack in Yeovil pub

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TWO men who launched a violent attack at a Yeovil pub have been sentenced by magistrates.

Ray John Escott hurled abusive insults towards one of the victims who had a pink Mohican calling him “gay” and then accused another male of staring at him.

After wrestling the second male to the floor in the bar of the Great Lyde pub the defendant phoned his friend John Paul Byrne for help.

When he turned up at the scene Byrne attacked both the victims, punching them to the face and leaving one lying on the floor unconscious and covered in blood with his front tooth knocked out.

When they appeared in the dock together before Somerset Magistrates Byrne, aged 48, of St Johns Road, Yeovil, was charged with assaulting Paul Moran and Dean Hine causing them actual bodily harm during the incident on May 18. Escott, aged 59, of Hertford Road, Yeovil, was alleged to have assaulted Paul Moran by beating him.

Byrne was sentenced to a 24 week suspended prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. A 12 month community order was also imposed during which he must comply with requirements for supervision and to attend an alcohol programme with the probation service. He was also ordered to pay Mr Moran £1,750 compensation and Mr Hine £250.

Meanwhile Escott was fined £350 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Moran, £200 costs and a £35 victim surcharge.

The court was told at the previous hearing that Mr Hine and Mr Moran met up at the Yellow Wagtail pub in Yeovil along with a female friend and then moved on to the Great Lyde for a drink.

At 7.30pm they were all sat in the bar area when Escott was stood behind them and started making insulting comments towards Mr Hine, said prosecutor Emma Chetland.

“He called him a poofter and gay because he had a pink Mohican hairstyle but the victim ignored the comments,” she said.

“Escott then accused Mr Moran of staring at him but the complainant offered out his hand to shake it and asked for no trouble.

“Then without warning Escott grabbed Mr Moran by the neck and wrestled him to the floor and punched him several times.”

The female pulled the pair apart and while the victims were outside calming down Escott phoned Byrne who arrived shortly afterwards.

“Byrne then went up to Mr Hine and punched him to the mouth causing a split lip and he ran into the pub,” said Mrs Chetland.

“Byrne then punched Mr Moran in the mouth knocking him to the ground and he was left lying on the floor unconscious and covered in blood and a front tooth was completely knocked out.

Following the assault Mr Hine suffered swelling to his nose and a split lip which needed three stitches and resulted in a permanent scar. Mr Moran had a front tooth knocked out and suffered sore ribs and a sore nose.

Defending solicitor Chris Baddoo said that Escott was drinking at the Great Lyde pub and some general banter started which then turned nasty towards a young man with a distinctive hairstyle.

“His friend got up to remonstrate and Escott grabbed him in a headlock and although there was a struggle nobody was ejected from the pub,” he said.

“Byrne then arrived and misread the situation after finding his friend with a cut to his nose and after a discussion ensued he swung a punch towards the first male.

“The second male intervened and he punched him also but he did not run away and knew what he did was wrong and was arrested at the pub.”

He said that both defendants had been drinking that day adding that Byrne accepted he misread the situation and did not know the full facts but had since shown remorse for his actions.

“These are two older men who should have known better and both want to take it on the chin and get on with life,” said Mr Baddoo.

“One would hope that these two gentlemen would grow up and not be before the court again.”

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