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Nine months for punch that broke man's jaw

Nine months for punch that broke man's jaw

Friday 11 September 2020

Nine months for punch that broke man's jaw

A 21-year-old who felt his mother was being threatened by a man at the Grandes Rocques Bistro has been sentenced to nine months in prison for punching him in the face.

Marley Montgomery was sent to Les Nicolles Prison for inflicting grievous bodily harm.

He was at the bar on his own watching the football on the afternoon of 19 January this year. His mother was also there at the time with a group of friends, but the pair had gone separately.

A member of the group picked up the defendant's mother in a playful way, causing her to accidentally kick the back of a man's leg, while he was standing at the pool table. He fell to the ground but wasn't injured and soon got back up.

Crown Prosecutor Rory Calderwood said the man hadn't seen who kicked him, so turned to the group and said words to the effect of "what the hell? Who did that?" football pub beer

Pictured: The defendant said he drank two pints while watching the football (file image).

Montgomery's mother apologised but the complainant remained angry and lifted his pint glass above his head before throwing it to the floor, where it smashed.

Some of the complainant's friends grabbed him and attempted to move him away, at which point the defendant, who had seen what was going on, went over and punched the man in the face.

One witness described the sound of the defendant's fist making contact as "sickening", while another said they heard the defendant shout "that's my mum".

Montgomery left the bar and Guernsey Police was called. The complainant was picked up and taken to A&E. He had to be flown to Southampton Hospital, where he had an operation on his jaw, which had broken in two places.

hospital healthcare

Pictured: The victim was flown over to Southampton Hospital for surgery.

He also has lasting nerve damage to his lip and is at risk of losing some of his teeth in the future due to the incident.

"It has been difficult and painful in every sense of the word," the complainant said in a victim impact statement. "What concerns me most is the future impact.

"It was the most shocking and traumatising moment of my entire life. It was emotionally and physically stressful.

"Half of my lip feels like it does after you've been to the dentist and I often bite my lip. This is not going to get better. The likelihood is this will be with me for the rest of my life. I feel deeply affected."

The following day, the defendant voluntarily went to the police station, where he was arrested.


Pictured: The defendant voluntarily took himself to the police station the following day.

Montgomery denied punching the complainant in the interview, but later requested a second interview in which he admitted his actions and apologised for lying, saying he was "scared" and thought he could "bend the truth".

Advocate Sarah Morgan said her client had gone into 'panic mode' when he realised the glass was "smashed deliberately in anger" and that "the anger was directed at his mother".

"He instinctively believed he needed to protect his mother," she said. "The friends [of the complainant] felt that he needed to be restrained. There's an implication he might have posed a physical risk."

Advocate Morgan said Montgomery was "horrified by the unintended consequences of his actions", but added that "it is unusual that a single punch leads to such a severe injury as this. This was recklessly inflicted harm."

She told the court that her client has ADHD, which may explain "why he acted so impulsively".

 Royal Court

Pictured: The defendant was sentenced yesterday in the Magistrate's Court.

A number of character references were handed up to Judge Graeme McKerrell, and the Defence Advocate asked that he consider showing "exceptional leniency" in his sentencing.

Judge McKerrell, however, was not prepared to do so.

"Whatever the victim may have done, your actions were out of all proportion to the incident," he said. "If you were so concerned for your mother's welfare you could and should have removed her from the scene.

"I accept this was a single punch and an incident you did not start, but you chose to get involved with the incident. You're right to expect immediate custody because that is fully warranted in this case."

The defendant has been sentenced to nine months in prison.

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