Chuckle Brothers jibe saw man bundled through window

11:00 06 May 2014

Exeter Crown Court

Exeter Crown Court

Archant

An off-duty bouncer bundled a stranger through a plate glass window because he thought he was laughing at him and saying he looked like one of the Chuckle Brothers, a court heard.

Graduate Samuel Sowden and victim, student Robert Cooper, were both out in Sidmouth when the confrontation occurred on August 3 last year.

Sowden rushed across the road and grabbed the victim by the shirt and Mr Cooper suffered very serious cuts to his arms and side as both men crashed through the window, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Mr Cooper needed 25 stitches to 40 different cuts and had problems completing his university course because of a severed tendon which made it hard for him to write and forced him to give up rugby.

Sowden, 22, of Manstone Lane, admitted wounding and was jailed for 12 months, suspended for a year, ordered to pay £2,500 compensation and do 200 hours unpaid community work.

Judge Erik Salomonsen told him: “You had been drinking alcohol for several hours and your judgment was affected. There came a time when there was bad blood between you and Mr Cooper.

“You went to jostle with him and you are the larger man and you lost your balance and the momentum meant both of you went through the window.

“He fell backwards to the floor and suffered serious injuries which required many stitches and is still receiving treatment for a severed tendon.

“It has had an important effect on his life and forced him to give up rugby, which is something you will understand as a rugby player yourself. You are a man of good character and people speak well of you, both of your academic career at university and from your door keeping work.”

Gordon Richings, prosecuting, said the two men had not met before the night of the attack, when they were both drinking outside Dukes on the Esplanade.

Sowden bumped into Mr Cooper twice, causing him to spill his drink and words were exchanged. The victim decided to move on and was approaching Carina’s when he saw Sowden again.

Sowden came across the street and grabbed his shirt and they both fell through the window. Mr Cooper suffered cuts to both arms, including one which has left a visible scar, and a severed tendon in a finger.

He needed stitches to both arms and a deep gash in his side and treatment for 40 other cuts or grazes. The finger injury has affected his university work and his job at a language school.

Nick Bradley, defending, said after the initial incident Sowden saw the other man with a group of friends on the other side of the street and thought they were joking about him.

He said: “He thought they were talking about his group as funny guys who looked like the Chuckle Brothers. He believed he was being talked about and took offence.”

Mr Bradley said Sowden is in a position to pay compensation and hopes to start work shortly with a building company.

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