Vicious Kettering Cordwainer attacker jailed for seven years after victim left blind in one eye

The unprovoked incident blew up after his pal was refused a drink

Monday, 17th May 2021, 9:16 am
Simon Chapman

A jury has found a man from Burton Latimer guilty of a 'senseless' GBH attack in a Kettering pub.

Simon Chapman had denied the unprovoked assault that happened in The Cordwainer, Cedar Road, on August 11, 2019.

He had been drinking when a friend was refused the sale of more booze at about 9.30pm.

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The attack happened in The Cordwainer

Northampton Crown Court heard the 55-year-old became angry and repeatedly punched his victim in the face, leaving him with a significant eye injury, swelling and bruising to his face.

Following the trial, a jury spent more than five hours deliberating and, on Friday, found Chapman guilty by majority verdict of causing grievous bodily harm.

Prosecuting, Kaja Reiff-Musgrove, said that the victim had been left with PTSD and is now scared to go inside pubs. She said: "It's had a serious impact on the victim.

"He has been left with nerve damage which led to numbness in his mouth and front teeth.

"He said he had to have eye surgery because of the extreme trauma which left the inside of his eye exposed and he lost his sight.

"His mental health has also taken a turn as a result. He has had difficulty sleeping.

"He's had his own daughter asking him to cover his eye because it gives her nightmares.

"It's been devastating to him to feel he is repugnant to his own child.

"It's also had an effect on his self-esteem and his work.

"He's a self-employed software engineer and needs his eye to work.

"He's struggling to deal with what was a senseless, unprovoked attack."

Long-distance lorry driver Chapman, of East Avenue, Burton Latimer, has previous convictions dating back to when he was a teenager in 1982 including criminal damage and several assaults. The court heard he had not offended since 2005.

Mitigating, Liam Muir said: "He's a grandfather and he's had issues with courts in the past but that was when he was a much younger man.

"His wife is going to struggle without him. He has a weakened immune system, is clinically extremely vulnerable and has been shielding during the pandemic.

"He's more vulnerable than most going into prison."

Sentencing Chapman to seven years and two months, of which he will serve two-thirds behind bars before becoming eligible for parole, His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo said: "If ever there was a case that should be made available to solicitors and defendants to demonstrate the credit given for guilty pleas, then this is it.

"It's governed by sentencing guidelines and the starting point is six years but that doesn't accurately reflect the permanent, life-changing injuries that you caused and so I am going above the starting point of six years..

"You admitted that you caused the injuries to the victim in your evidene. I can't, for the life of me, understand why you did not plead guilty. I cannot give you any credit for that."