New Milton man Astin Chadwick fractured skull of old school enemy outside Six Bells pub in Lymington

A MAN left a former school enemy with a fractured skull after possibly punching him with a knuckleduster outside a Lymington pub, a court heard.

Astin Chadwick (22), of Drake Close, New Milton, set upon Gareth Davies outside the Six Bells, Southampton Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Gemma Noble said Chadwick was in the St Thomas Street watering hole with friends on 18th August last year when Mr Davies and his friends entered.

Astin Chadwick must return to Southampton Crown Court to learn his punishment
Astin Chadwick must return to Southampton Crown Court to learn his punishment

The defendant and victim were known to each other from school and « there was some kind of animosity » between them, she said.

As Mr Davies left the bar later that night, Chadwick attacked him, she said, adding: « The complainant fell unconscious for 10 seconds. When he came around witnesses could see that his eyes were rolling around in his head. »

Mr Davies was rushed to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and later transferred to Poole for X-ray and CT scans. They revealed a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain.

The injuries were described as « serious but not life threatening », she said, but after being discharged he was later admitted to Southampton General Hospital suffering seizures and headaches.

Scans showed swelling on his brain had worsened and he was kept in for a number of days before being released with medication.

Chadwick was arrested and initially answered « no comment » to questions before confessing to the attack in a second interview.

He appeared at court having admitted at an earlier hearing one charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent.

The prosecutor said witnesses thought Chadwick « put his hand in his pocket » just before throwing the punch and were unsure if he had something in his hand.

Defence barrister David Freeland said his client’s home had been searched in the aftermath of the attack and nothing was found.

However, Judge Nicholas Rowland said questions remained as to whether Chadwick had a knuckleduster in his hand when he threw the punch, so ordered a further hearing to establish the facts.

The judge granted Chadwick unconditional bail to reappear at Southampton Crown Court on 25th August when he will be sentenced.