A JUDGE has told a young Rugby man she came into court intending to jail him for his part in a violent incident which ended with one victim suffering a fractured eye socket.
But despite being subject to a suspended sentence at the time, Jordan Oliver escaped being jailed after the judge heard he had kept out of trouble for more than two years since then.
The 21-year-old, of Parkfield Road, Newbold, had denied a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
And on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court his plea of guilty to an alternative offence of affray was accepted after it was said it could not be proved he caused the injury.
Oliver, who also admitted a charge of assault, was sentenced to 21 months in prison suspended for two years, and ordered to take part in an offending programme for 60 days.
Prosecutor Ian Windridge said Oliver was with another man who called at an address in Parkfield Road in April 2017 to see a man.
But when told by the man’s father he was not there and to leave, there was a row during which Oliver punched him twice to the face, briefly knocking him unconscious.
The man’s son-in-law also came out and was hit in the face but the court heard it was not known who threw the punch.
The father suffered a broken nose, but the son-in-law had a more serious injury – a disfigurement to his cheekbone which had pushed his eye out of alignment.
Mr Windridge added at the time Oliver was subject to a six-month suspended sentence for possessing an offensive weapon.
Amy Jackson, defending, said: “This is a case that goes back over two years now to when he was 19.
“Of course it’s serious, but at that stage he was in a very different period in his life. He was homeless and he began to misuse substances. He was angry and he acted appallingly.
“But he has changed since then. He is now working with a counsellor and he has accommodation which has moved him from the area where he was living and he’s now living near his family.
And Miss Jackson, who said the last time Oliver committed an offence was a theft in 2017 because he had no money to get to a probation appointment, added that he now has a part-time job.
Sentencing Oliver, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “I came into court intending to send you immediately to prison, but what has swayed me is the length of time you have stayed out of trouble and the things you’ve done to help yourself.
“I am not going to get in the way of the progress you have made.”