Great Britain ice hockey player jailed for assault - Bedford

03/09/2013

A Great Britain ice hockey player was jailed for 12 months today, Tuesday, 03 September 2013, after delivering a punch which fractured his victim's skull and left him profoundly deaf in one ear.

Harrison Goode, 23, knocked Jamie Crawford to the ground outside Elements night club in Bedford early in the morning after they had been thrown out by bouncers.

Mr Crawford told Luton Crown Court he had absolutely no memory of the assault. He said: "I remember being in a club with friends, but I can't remember the club. I woke up in hospital with a black eye and four cracks to the skull."

The jury heard there had been tension between the two men because one of Mr Crawford's friends had been out with Harrison Goode's girlfriend.

A member of Jamie Crawford's group, Haydn Edwins, told the court they had gone to Bedford town centre with two others. They went to Bar Chameleon before going onto Elements. At around 2am, he saw Mr Crawford chatting to Harrison Goode, who was someone he knew as they had played roller hockey together.

He said: "I saw Harrison push Jamie with two open hands. Jamie stepped back and pushed him back. The bouncers split them up and took them downstairs. They escorted Jamie out to the left and Harrison went straight on."

Mr Edwins said he went outside and then saw Harrison Goode run up and punch his friend. "It was a jog up to him and he hit him in the left eye. He put all his body weight into the punch. Jamie fell backwards and hit his head on the concrete and was knocked out cold. He was bleeding from the head," he said.

He said the bouncers got hold of Harrison Goode and the police arrived and arrested him. Goode told the police he had acted in self defence and claimed Mr Crawford had approached him aggressively.

Prosecutor Daniel Higgins said that the victim has been left profoundly deaf in his left ear as a result of the blow. For three and a half months after the assault he had no short term memory, had lost his sense of smell and taste and suffered headaches. "He is more anxious now and less happy go lucky. He is more on edge if he goes out," he said.

Goode, a sports science graduate, of Trent Avenue, Flitwick, pleaded not guilty to causing Jamie Crawford grievous bodily harm on 15 April last year, but was found guilty after a two day trial. He was of previous good character.

When questioned by the police, Harrison Goode said he was acting in self-defence. He said he had been pushed inside the club by Jamie Crawford and that when outside Crawford had approached him aggressively.

Phillipa Ellis, defending, said Goode had been selected for the Great Britain Ice Hockey team and hoped to be included in the squad going to Italy in December.

She said Goode worked as a lifeguard at Flitwick Leisure Centre, but had hoped to become a PE teacher. "It is now unlikely that he will reach that goal. It is a high price to pay for someone of his age and good character. He has a very supportive family who are devastated by the verdict of the jury."

The judge was handed character references for Goode, who helps with roller hockey sessions, including one from a former police officer.

Jailing him, Judge Richard Foster said: "You are very fortunate you are not standing before the court on an allegation of manslaughter. There was a full strength punch from you. Because of these devastating injuries, custody is inevitable.

"Prison will be a difficult and salutary time for you. You only have yourself to blame. The message must go out that assaults of this severity must give rise to custody."

Please note - all court copies are provided by South Beds News Agency, who retain the copyright for all articles published.