Duo spared jail for breaking birthday party-goer's jaw in two places

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Lovell Farman and Dylan Spaull were sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday - Credit: ARCHANT

Two men have been spared jail for breaking another man's jaw during a street brawl. 

Lovell Farman and Dylan Spaull were sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday for wounding Jamie Houghton without intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The attack happened following a birthday party at The Ship Inn, Lowestoft, on April 20, 2019.

Prosecutor Benedict Peers said Mr Houghton had been walking away from the venue with his family and a group of other partygoers when another group, following behind and containing Farman and Spaull, made threats towards two young men walking further ahead.

Mr Peers said Spaull then pulled his coat over his head and advanced towards the pair, but was intercepted and told to "go away" by one of Mr Houghton's group.

Spaull lunged at the other man but was quickly put to the ground and surrounded by people attempting to break-up the brawl, the prosecutor said.

Both defendants then began to shout towards the group – largely gathered behind Mr Houghton, standing at the end of a nearby driveway, protecting his family from any further aggravation.

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As Mr Houghton approached the pair, he was punched to the side of the jaw by both men, causing two fractures requiring the fitting of three metal plates.

Richard Kelly, representing Spaull, 20, of The Mardle, Carlton Colville, said his client's involvement was "impulsively spontaneous", having being taken to the ground after stepping forward to assist Farman.

Mr Kelly said Spaull's life had since moved on immeasurably, having secured work as a trainee groundworker and entered into a relationship. 

"He feels truly awful that Mr Houghton sustained this injury and recognises the impact it has had," added Mr Kelly.

Matthew McNiff, for Farman, 23, of Bonds Meadow, Oulton Broad, said his client had matured since the incident, and had also been able to hold down a relationship and work as a fencer. 

Mr McNiff said Farman echoed his co-defendant's observations about the impact of the incident on Mr Houghton. 

Judge Emma Peters sentenced Farman to nine months' custody, suspended for 18 months, with 30 days' rehabilitation activity requirement. He must also pay Mr Houghton £1,500 compensation.

Spaull was handed a two-year community order and told to pay Mr Houghton £1,800. 

Both were ordered to undertake a cognitive skills programme and wear a sobriety tag for 100 days. They were also made subject to a two-year restraining order.