A MAN who connected with a headbutt in an unprovoked attack has walked free from court.
Magistrates said 21-year-old Harrison Elwick, of Scholes Park Road, Scarborough, had only been spared jail because he had no previous convictions.
However he will pay £1,000 in compensation to his victim, complete 250 hours of unpaid work and has been banned from Scarborough town centre between the hours of 9pm and 6am for one year.
In a statement from Elwick’s victim, which was read to the court, he said: “It has taken four long weeks for my eye to fully heal.”
Elwick had previously entered a guilty plea to the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, before his sentencing hearing at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court.
He also admitted to not answering bail, after he turned up more than two-and-a-half hours late to the hearing.
Kathryn Reeve, prosecuting, said that the attack had taken place in the early hours of March 6 in Huntriss Row.
Elwick’s girlfriend had initially had an argument with the victim and slapped him, before Elwick approached him and launched his own attack.
Miss Reeve said: “The defendant approached the victim and tapped him on the left side of the face. He said ‘why are you starting on my girlfriend?’ He then headbutted him in the mouth and nose area.”
The court heard that the victim then fell back against a wall before both men ended up on the pavement.
“Mr Elwick was on top of the victim,” Miss Reeve added. “The defendant had him in a headlock, he then forced his thumb into his right eye. Members of the public were trying to pull him off the victim.”
The court heard that the man required hospital treatment and experienced a temporary reduction in vision in his right eye.
After two weeks the problem had got worse as a result of the severe abrasion to his eyeball and he was forced to attend two university interviews with the effects of Elwick’s attack on show.
Franklyn Garvey, mitigating, said his client had “lost it in a split second” and was ashamed of his actions.
He added: “That split second is something he will regret for the rest of his life. He acted in a way that was totally alien to him. He is not a violent man and is quite aghast at the way he conducted himself.
“I would hope that taking into account his guilty plea and lack of previous convictions that you will step away from the threshold of immediate custody.”
Chairman of the bench Tony Green said: “The offence was utterly and completely unprovoked. But in view of the fact that you are a first time offender we are prepared to make a high level community order.
“If you breach any conditions of the order and are brought back to court the starting point will be to send you to prison.”
The community order will last for one year. Elwick will pay the compensation at a rate of £20 per week and will be able to enter the town centre when travelling to and from work.