Dad gets jail term for GBH in Swindon town centre

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon Crown Court Swindon Crown Court

A FATHER-of-five who ‘took the law into his own hands’ when he launched a violent assault on a man has been jailed for 16 months Ronnie Whyte left his victim with a badly fractured cheekbone when he kicked him after decking him with a punch to the face.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the attack happened at the door to Swindon’s Afro Caribbean Club in the spring of last year.

He said Carillon Mitchell had gone to the venue in the early hours of Sunday, May 26 to collect some speakers he had left there.

“The club was open but he rang the bell to be let in. The door was opened by Mr Whyte who initially slammed it in his face,” Mr Meeke said.

“He rang the bell again. Mr Whyte opened it and struck him a number of times. This was witnessed by several people.”

The injuries sustained by Mr Mitchell included a tripod fracture to the cheekbone that required the insertion of metal plates under general anaesthetic.

Mr Meeke said the victim was initially reluctant to involve the police but changed his mind when he realised how seriously injured he was.

Whyte, of Farriers Close, Marshgate, pleaded guilty to a charge of grievous bodily harm.

The court heard he was convicted of GBH is 1987 and 1998 and actual bodily harm in 1989 and 2009.

Rob Ross, defending, said his client was a family man living with his partner of many years, their five children and a stepson.

He said he reacted the way he did because he believed the victim had done something to one of his relatives.

“He clearly felt having been told something by another family member that this man may have been responsible for something,” he said.

“After a chance meeting he lost his temper. He realises that was the wrong way of dealing with it.

“Sometimes people who have strong ties with their family react in a wrong way. His last offence of ABH involved something that happened in the family.”

After a long time together he said Whyte had finally married his partner in December last year.

“It would be a tragedy if Mr Whyte had to go to custody today, especially having finally made the commitment to Mrs Whyte,” he said.

Mr Ross told the court his client would benefit greatly from the input of programmes run by the probation service.

“I know it sometimes sounds a little base to say it, but you are never too old to learn. He is 44 now. Sometimes it is better to take a deep breath and walk away,” he said Jailing him, Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “Once you saw him you had it in your mind immediately that he had done something to your family.

“Whether or not that was true has never been resolved because the matter was not reported to the police.

“It follows what you did when you assaulted him was take the law into your own hands and that is what makes this serious.

“You punched him, he went to the ground. Had it stopped there no court would say it passed the custody threshold. It didn’t stop there.

“You then kicked him once. That also makes this offence serious: you kicked him when he was on the ground. You broke his cheekbone, a serious fracture.”

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