Power punch left man needing plates in face

Thomas Smith, 45, was given three years in prison after attacking a man in the Brass Cat pub in Halifax.
Thomas Smith, 45, was given three years in prison after attacking a man in the Brass Cat pub in Halifax.

A 35-year-old man had to undergo a major operation to repair his damaged cheekbone after he was punched while out in Halifax celebrating his mum’s birthday.

Victim Anthony Buckley was sitting on a bar stool in the Brass Cat pub in the town centre when he was punched out of the blue by Thomas Smith.

Mr Buckley, who had been in the pub with his mother and her partner last April, had to undergo an operation at Bradford Royal Infirmary three days later to have two plates inserted to repair the displaced fracture of his right cheekbone.

A judge at Bradford Crown Court was shown CCTV footage of the incident.

Prosecutor Philips Adams described how Smith, 45, of Lower Hollins, Sowerby Bridge, had left the pub without any incident, but almost a minute later he came back in.

The CCTV showed Smith walking straight over to Mr Buckley at the bar and punching him in the face, knocking him off his stool.

Smith claimed there had been a previous incident and some kind of remark.

But the Honorary Recorder of Bradford, Judge James Stewart QC, said the “extremely heavy blow” was totally out of proportion to anything that may have happened previously.

At the time of the incident, Smith was on licence following his release from a five-year jail term for a hammer attack on another man in his own home.

Smith pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Buckley and Judge Stewart jailed him for three years.

“You went outside, you thought about it and you decided to teach him a lesson,” the judge told Smith.

“That was, in my judgement, a reasonably significant degree of premeditation.

“You went back into the public house and struck him an extremely heavy blow, which knocked him over.

“It was right in front of his mother and his mother’s partner and it caused a serious injury.”

Judge Stewart said the violence could have killed Mr Buckley if he had fallen on to a stone floor and cracked his head.