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Man pleads guilty to grievous bodily harm after leaving victim in coma following single punch

A man was sentenced last week to two years and eight months in prison after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm when he left a man in a coma following a single punch.

In December 2016, Sam Whittet, aged 22, of Knuston Spinney, Irchester, had been drinking at the Brafield-On-The-Green Working Men’s Club. Peter Roberts, aged 54, had been at a separate part of the club with his family celebrating a birthday party. At some point in the evening, Whittet became involved in an altercation with the victim.

Whittet threw a single punch at Mr Roberts, which knocked him to the ground. He sustained a fracture to the base of the skull and a bleed to the brain. He has since remained in a life threatening condition in a minimally conscious state and will require full time care for the rest of his life.

Whittet also pleaded guilty to two counts of assault which included an assault on a police officer where he head-butted the officer in the face while in a police cell. At Northampton Crown Court on Friday, 16 June, he was sentenced to one month concurrent for one assault and one month for the second assault to be served consecutive to the two years and eight months.

When interviewed by police, Whittet claimed that he had no recollection of the assaults. 

Detective Constable Lydia Watters, who led the investigation, said: “This has been a sensitive and emotional case, involving a number of people from a tight-knit community. The overriding factor has always been the concerns for the victim and his family. This incident highlights how extreme the consequences can be from a single punch, which has changed the lives of both the victim and offender in this case.”

Picture: Peter Roberts pictured on the left, next to footballer Trevor Francis

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