Hucknall soldier’s knockout punch left victim with life-changing injuries, court hears
A former soldier from Hucknall who knocked a man out with one punch and left him with life-changing injuries was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a court heard.
CCTV at the H2O Lounge & Bar on Hucknall High Street showed Joe Brinkworth lashing out in the early hours of February 23, 2019, said prosecutor Victoria Rose.
His victim fell to the ground unconscious and Brinkworth ran off, before returning to put the man into the recovery position.
Earlier in the evening a dispute had broken out between two groups but it seemed to have been settled before Brinkworth left the bar.
His victim was treated at the QMC in Nottingham for a "significant skull fracture", blood clotting around the brain and bruising to his frontal lobe.
Although he has made a "reasonable physical recovery," Ms Rose said, Brinkworth's victim now suffers from poor short-term memory and fails to recognise members of his own family.
He has lost his senses of taste and smell, and struggles to read letters or plan appointments. In a statement he described suffering paranoid thoughts, being scared to leave his home and crying himself to sleep. He is too scared to work, or play football, and no longer sees friends, Nottingham Crown Court heard on Friday.
Matthew Hayes, mitigating, said: “It is a very sad and difficult case for all parties involved. Mr Brinkworth is genuinely remorseful for his actions and wishes to apologise.
“He appreciates that he will receive a custodial sentence. I hope there are enough mitigating factors to persuade you to suspend that sentence.”
He said Brinkworth was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following service in Afghanistan, and that caused him to misread the situation and over-react.
"He didn't intend to cause the harm he did,” said Mr Hayes. “He heard someone talking about smashing someone's head in and mention of a knife.”
He said Brinkworth’s actions were “out-of-character, irrational and uncalled-for,” and he suffers “great remorse.”
The delivery driver, who has previous convictions from 2011 and 2017, but nothing for violence, has since sought help for his PTSD.
Brinkworth, 28, of St Mary's Way, Hucknall, pleaded guilty to GBH.
Recorder John Sampson sentenced him to two years, suspended for 21 months, with unpaid work, and ordered him to pay £3,000 compensation and £535 costs.