A MAN who was helping his tipsy wife home from a pub had his jaw broken by a stranger who thought she was being attacked, a court heard.
James Bradley, 37, who was also drunk, misread the situation when he saw the woman being assisted by her husband and two male friends.
The group had been asked to leave The Telstar pub, in Billingham, at closing time when Bradley spotted them, prosecutor Christopher Attwooll said at Teesside Crown Court.
Bradley shouted: ”You are manhandling her,” only for the husband to shout back: “It’s my wife”.
Bradley then punched him with his right fist, tripped him up and punched him again when he was on the ground.
He claimed later in a basis of plea statement that he had seen the woman, who was described in court as being “the worse for wear”, being dragged by three males, and that the husband walked towards him flailing his arms at him.
Bradley said that he feared for his safety when the husband approached him, but he accepted that he went one stage further when he punched him again as he was on the ground.
The husband said in an impact statement that he had a metal plate put into the right side of his jaw, which left him with pain and numbness.
He said that he was unable to register as sick because he could not afford to take time off work.
Andrew Teate, defending, said that it was an unsavoury incident, adding that Bradley had convictions for violence but he had stayed out of trouble for over five years.
He said that Bradley, an unemployed electrician, had reduced his drinking and also his misuse of drugs.
The judge told him that he was able to suspend the necessary prison sentence because of the efforts he was making.
Recorder Julian Goose QC said: “You had consumed a considerable amount of drink, and at the same time a group of other people including the complainant were making their way home.
“They too had drunk quite a lot of alcohol, and in particular the wife of the complainant needed assistance in order to get home.
“In your drunken misjudgment you thought that something was going on and the wife of the complainant was struggling. You challenged him, and when the answer came back, you assaulted him.”
Bradley, of Beamish Road, Billingham, was given a 51 week jail sentence suspended for two years with supervision, a tagged curfew for six months, and an anger management programme after he pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on February 26 last year.