CCTV captured beating

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A PUB goer was caught on camera repeatedly punching a stranger in the head.

Lee West, 22, was captured on CCTV punching Dane Jones eight or nine times to the head, in a flashpoint sparked by an accidental collision.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how the complainant was enjoying a night out, when he was told that one of his friends had been assaulted in a takeaway.

As he raced towards the takeaway in the early hours of May 22, Mr Jones, 23. accidentally bumped into West outside the Leigh Arms pub on King Street, Leigh.

Mike Ardern, prosecuting, told how he immediately apologised before running off.

But, when he arrived at the takeaway, he quickly realised that his friend was not there, and started to walk back towards West, who was still outside the pub with two other men, to apologise properly.

Without warning, West, who had drunk half a dozen drinks that night, punched Mr Jones in the face, causing him to retreat towards his workplace, Cafe Stella.

CCTV footage then showed West punching the victim eight or nine times to the back of the head, before staff from Cafe Stella came outside to help apprehend him.

Mr Jones, who did not make an official complaint to police straight away, was hospitalised with severe headaches, soreness to his jaw and ear, bruising to his cheek and a black eye.

When he subsequently made an official complaint about the assault, police arrested West on June 19.

In interview, the defendant admitted that the collision was “probably accidental”, but claimed he had committed the assault partly in self-defence, because he felt intimidated by Mr Jones, who “looked aggressive”.

He admitted punching Mr Jones twice to the head, but CCTV footage subsequently proved that he had thrown at least eight punches at the victim.

Bob Topping, defending West, admitted that it was an “unpleasant incident”, but said his client’s behaviour that night was completely out of character.

West, of Rugby Road, Leigh, who is currently classed as being unfit for work because he suffers from anxiety, depression and panic attacks, was handed a 12-week curfew.

He was also ordered to pay £125 compensation to Mr Jones and £40 towards prosecution costs.