Court dismisses appeal against chef in violent attack

A CHEF who punched another man in the face, leaving him with ongoing medical and psychological damage, has lost an appeal against his sentence.

Benjamin John Davies had finished work for the night at a hotel in Pittsworth when he was having a drink at the bar in September 2011.

In a Court of Appeal judgment handed down on Friday, Justice Hugh Fraser outlined that a man in the bar area was annoying customers and misbehaving.

Davies, 24 at the time, punched the man, prompting him to fall on the ground.

Justice Fraser said the victim got up and pushed Davies' father, who had looked at him lying on the ground.

Davies then punched the victim to the side of the head.

Justice Fraser said the man would not have known the punch was coming.

After he was convicted of grievous bodily harm, Davies was sentenced to two years and three months in jail but would be released on parole in November 2013.

Davies appealed his sentence, arguing it was manifestly excessive.

In the Court of Appeal written judgment, Justice Fraser stated Davies' victim required titanium screws and plates in his cheek bone and suffered a post-traumatic stress disorder.

"The titanium plates holding his left eye socket together and the permanent facial nerve damage and ongoing dental issues from which he suffered constantly reminded the complainant of the trauma inflicted on him," Justice Fraser stated.

It was also revealed Davies criminal history was scattered with violent offences, including an attack on a man which a judge labelled "cowardly and despicable".

The attack involved Davies and three co-offenders bashing two men in a shop in August 2006.

The assault was unprovoked, Justice Fraser said, and left one of the victims unconscious and bleeding on the shop floor as the offenders walked off.

A year later, Davies punched and kneed a man in the head.

In his grounds for appeal against the Pittsworth offence, Davies argued his punishment did not reflect that fact he was meant to be sentenced only for the excessive component of force he used in the assault.

But Justice Fraser found the sentencing judge accepted Davies would not have committed an offence if he merely pushed the victim, like the victim did to Davies' father, rather than punching him.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

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