Businessman attacked man in nightclub

Derby Crown Court
Derby Crown Court

A judge has slammed a “drunken thug” businessman who attacked a 54-year-old man in a nightclub.

Dale Bamford assaulted Andrew Wilde while holding a beer bottle before kicking him in the head as he lay on the ground at Club Retro in Ripley.

Mr Wilde received a 2cm gash to his head following the attack at the bar and CCTV played to Derby Crown Court showed Bamford whisper in Mr Wilde’s ear before punching him while holding the bottle.

The 40-year-old denied that he hit his victim with the bottle and instead suggested the facial injuries were sustained when he kicked Mr Wilde as he lay on the ground inside the Nottingham Road nightclub.

Judge David Pugsley, handing Bamford a 12-month suspended prison sentence, said: “You are a thug.

“For time immemorial we have heard about arguments and altercations in pubs but this is usually by those aged in their teens or early 20s, not someone of your age who has their own business.

“You committed a serious act of violence and as to whether or not it was a blow with a bottle or by kicking a man while he was on the ground seems a pointless exercise in mental cogitation. Both were equally unacceptable.

“Which is more warped and evil, hitting someone with a bottle or kicking them on the floor? Time, time and time again bottles and glasses become the weapon of the drunken thug.”

Sarah Slater, prosecuting, said the attack happened at around midnight on November 30 last year. She said Mr Wilde had been out with his daughter in the town but they had become separated and he found himself in Club Retro on his own.

Miss Slater said: “The defendant was stood next to him and then hit him either with a bottle or his fist.

“He was identified from CCTV and arrested and admitted being involved but denied hitting MrWilde with a bottle.

“He said he was very drunk and the victim had wobbled into him so he hit him.”

The court was told that Bamford, of Shirley Road, Ripley, had run his own waste management company for 15 years and had no previous convictions.

He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Jasmine Kumar, for Bamford, said he was “hard-working” and that his attack was “completely out of character”.

Miss Kumar said: “He knows what he did crosses the custodial threshold and he is very frightened of an immediate custodial sentence. He knows what he did was not acceptable.”

Judge Pugsley handed Bamford a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He also ordered him to pay £1,500 compensation to Mr Wilde, £450 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.

Judge Pugsley said: “I am suspending your sentence because of your previous good character but you are not a rich man buying himself out of trouble. That was an ugly injury which could have been much worse.”