Students smash man's jaw in Gig House attackBy David Millward
April 26, 2012
Two “well-educated” friends who broke a man’s jaw in a brawl have received a community sentence.
James Castledine, 21, and Oliver Dever, 20, acted out of character when they attacked Jamie Trankle after a drinking binge, a court heard.
The judge said they had brought shame on themselves and their families but spared them prison to safeguard their places at university.
Reading Crown Court heard Castledine, of Avery Close, Finchampstead, and Dever, of Priest Avenue, Wokingham, had been drinking in London on Friday, May 27, last year.
The second year students returned to Wokingham and went to The Gig House pub in Denmark Street.
Trouble started when Castledine was talking to a girl he knew who sent a message to Mr Trankle, who was in the pub, saying she did not want to see him any more.
Mr Trankle walked over to the table, an argument started and Castledine punched him in the face. He and Dever continued to hit their victim, who suffered a broken jaw.
Mr Trankle needed a metal plate inserted and he was unable to chew for six weeks. He was also unable to work in his trade as a landscape builder for two months or pursue his hobby as a respected motocross enthusiast.
Andrew McGee, defending Castledine, said: “Although he accepts the jury’s verdict, he still maintains he was acting in self defence but, regardless of that, he genuinely regrets what happened to Mr Trankle and also his behaviour.”
He described the attack as an “entirely impulsive” act which was short lived and he said experts agreed the broken jaw could have been the result of a single blow rather than a sustained attack.
Mr McGee said the attack was completely out of character and he produced 16 references from friends, family and employers to the court.
He said a prison sentence would mean the end of Castledine’s studies in architectural engineering at Leeds University because he would be thrown off the course.
Barry Gilbert, defending Dever, said he faced expulsion from his construction management degree at Bristol University if jailed.
Judge Ian Grainger sentenced both Castledine and Dever, who had both denied a charge of grievous bodily harm, to a 51-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered them each to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
He also ordered both defendants to pay £2,500 to Mr Trankle.