Andover man fractured acquaintance’s skull with single punch

‘A FAMILY MAN’ fractured an acquaintance’s skull with a single punch after the victim tried to stop him fighting another man, a court heard.

Joel Walkden, 59, was spared jail after he floored Luke Trebert in an attack that left him unconscious on the ground and suffering a bleed on the brain.

Walkden had drunk 10 pints of Guinness when he became involved in an altercation with an unknown man in Winchester Street, Andover, on August 23, 2020, when Mr Trebert stepped in to break up the men, Winchester Crown Court heard on Thursday.

Prosecutor Edward Elton said: “A dispute arose between this defendant and an unknown male. Whatever the genesis of that dispute what next is that the victim in this case, seeing the defendant in an agitated state went between the two to calm the defendant down.

“The defendant repeatedly pushes him away, not in an overtly aggressive way, but [to say] ‘get out my way I want to get to the other fella’.”

The court was told that Walkden was like a “dog on a leash” while Mr Trebert was acting like the “peace maker or intervenor”.

“The defendant delivers a single blow with his right fist and the victim is knocked out by the blow,” Mr Elton said. “His head hits the ground…his arms flop out.”

“The defendant follows up with a boxer’s [stance] ready to deliver another blow if required. He does several times crouch over the victim, the first couple of times there looks to be some aggression but no blows delivered after that first one.”

Emergency services were called but Mr Trebert refused to go to hospital, however the next day he began feeling ill and an ambulance was called. He was discovered to have a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain.

In mitigation, David Castle said his client had an “unattractive early criminal past” but “he seems, to his credit, to have totally transformed his life”.

Mr Castle continued: “He has become a family man; he has got himself a good job and has grown up and this represents an unfortunate blip.”

Walkden, of Genoa Court, Andover, was said to have “absolutely no recollection” of what happened and has since cut down his alcohol consumption.

He was handed a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years and must complete 120 hours unpaid work, along with 10 rehabilitation days.

The judge, Mr Recorder R Harris also ordered Walkden to pay £1,500 compensation to Mr Trebert.