Kidderminster man broke victim's jaw in late-night attack

A 23-year-old Kidderminster man who punched another man in the face and broke his jaw in an unprovoked late-night attack has been jailed for 18 months.

Matthew Oliver, of Hurcott Road, barged the man, Craig Passey, in the back and knocked him to the ground as he was standing talking to friends in Kidderminster town centre in the early hours of Sunday, May 20, this year.

Mr Passey had been out drinking in Bewdley and had taken a taxi to Kidderminster, where he had visited more pubs and met some friends. He suddenly felt a "massive jolt" and he fell to the floor, Nicholas Smith, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court .

He got up and saw Oliver coming towards him and walking backwards and forwards trying to start a fight, swearing and shouting "I'm going to have you" before walking away to a car, where it appeared his girlfriend was waiting.

Mr Passey thought it was over but then he felt an "incredible crack" as Oliver returned and punched him in the face, Mr Smith said.

Mr Passey went home but was in such pain he went to hospital, where his lower jaw was found to be fractured in two places. He had metal plates put in and is still having medical treatment. In a victim impact statement, he said he now felt anxious whenever he went out.

Oliver had previous convictions for assault and dishonesty but Jason Aris, defending, said he did not have a history of violence.

He was now showing signs of a growing maturity and had the support of his family and his girlfriend. He was very remorseful and was taking steps to deal with his drinking, which had been partly responsible for his actions.

Judge Robert Juckes said Oliver was a powerfully-built man and the blow to the face had "appalling" long-term consequences. He jailed Oliver for 18 months minus 124 days he had already spent in custody.

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