A 52-YEAR-OLD Camelford man has been found guilty of assault by beating after an incident in a pub in the town.
Paul Prisk, also known as Stumpy, of Victoria Road, had denied assaulting Phillip Thomas by beating, claiming he had acted in self-defence, but was convicted at Bodmin Magistrates' Court on Friday.
He had admitted damaging Mr Thomas's Nissan Skyline car by jumping on the roof and bonnet and damaging a police cell at Launceston custody centre by urinating on the floor.
Mike Brown, for the prosecution, said Mr Thomas had been left with a red mark on his throat after being grabbed around the neck by Prisk in the Darlington Arms on August 11. Police who attended saw the mark and also the damage to Mr Thomas's car.
Prisk had heard Mr Thomas swearing and shouting as he drove past the pub, and when Mr Thomas went inside he swore again at Stacey Blackman, his former partner, and Matthew Hill, her new partner at the time. Prisk, a friend of Mr Hill, reacted by damaging Mr Thomas's car and assaulting him as he left.
Mr Thomas told the court he had been a bit upset with Ms Blackman, agreed he had sworn, and accepted that he did not get on with Mr Hill. As he left the pub he was grabbed by Prisk, whom he did not know. "He squeezed my neck quite tightly," he said.
Mr Thomas then discovered the damage to his car – his "pride and joy".
Prisk told the court Mr Thomas had approached him aggressively and he had put his hand up to protect himself, but denied grabbing Mr Thomas's throat.
His account was supported by his partner Sue Farley, who said Mr Thomas "came rushing towards him with his fist clenched".
The court heard all those involved had been drinking apart from Mr Thomas.
The magistrates, finding Prisk guilty, said they found Mr Thomas's evidence to be "reliable and honest".
Prisk was conditionally discharged for 18 months and ordered to pay a total of £500 in compensation and costs.