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Five men attacked Tourette's sufferer at Matchplay Snooker Club in Stroud

By EchoLauraC  |  Posted: February 04, 2014

Crown_Court

Gloucester Crown Court

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One of five men, who punched and kicked a vulnerable Tourette’s sufferer, in an attack tantamount to bullying, has escaped jail.

Gloucester Crown Court heard drunk and angry Gavin Fisher attacked two men at Matchplay Snooker Club in Stroud on October 23, 2012.

The 26-year-old first grabbed Carl Harrison around the throat and pushed him, causing him to hit his head on a wall, before he and four others launched the attack on Mark Bridges, who suffers from involuntary ticks.

Prosecutor Greg Gordon said Fisher of Oak Drive in Dursley had been playing a game of snooker with Mr Harrison.

He said: “The defendant became aggressive and it became clear he was drunk.

“Mr Harrison went outside to have a cigarette and shortly after he was joined by the defendant and four other males that appeared.

“He pushed him and he hit his head on the wall before he grabbed him around the threat.

“Mr Bridges noticed that something was going on and he confronted the males before he was attacked.

“He was taken to the ground by one male and all five started punching and kicking him while he was on the ground.”

The court heard Fisher had pleaded guilty of attacking Mr Bridges, on the basis he kicked him once during the violence.

Mr Gordon added: “Mr Bridges suffers from the physical form of Tourette’s and it has been very difficult for him since the assault.

“The stress and his injuries have seen his symptoms get 40 per cent worse.”

Judge Jamie Tabor QC said: “It was bullying. There is a man that is somewhat vulnerable and a group of drunken lads that think ‘let’s look what we can get from him’.”

Defending Matthew Harbinson said Fisher was the only one of the five men who charges had been bought against. It is understood there was no evidence to charge four others originally arrested in connection with the case.

Fisher pleaded guilty to two charges common assault.

Judge Tabor sentenced him to a six month prison sentence, but suspended it for two years because of the time passed since the violent attack.

He gave him a six month curfew between 7pm and 7am and ordered he pay £400 compensation to Mr Bridges.

The judge told Fisher: “When a group of people set upon someone that’s vulnerable and it is five on one, there can only be one type of sentence and that is custody, regardless of the role of the individual.

“This took place quite a long time ago and there is quite a lot of water under the bridge.

“If you had been sentenced straight after the offence you would be going to prison.”

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  • Tree1974  |  February 04 2014, 7:54PM

    Not only should the man who attacked Mark Bridges be named and shamed here in the paper but there pictures should also have been printed. The 4 who were not charged should also have been named and shamed because by standing by and letting this happen they are as bad as the purportraitor!

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