Man jailed for causing grievous bodily harm - Hertford


Student Matthew Ellis was left with plates in his face after being kicked while on the ground in a fight in Hertford town centre.

His attacker, Matthew Joseph, 29, was jailed for 5 years after St Albans Crown Court heard today, Friday, 05 July,  that he had acted in "excessive self-defence".

Trouble broke out just after 1am on 23 March last year between a friend of Mr Ellis, Tom Davis and Matthew Joseph. That ended and Joseph walked away, but a second confrontation took place which led to Mr Ellis being knocked to the ground in a group attack, said Alison Ginn prosecuting.

Joseph delivered two kicks to his head causing a broken jaw, a flattened nose and swelling around Mr Ellis' eyes. He had to undergo facial surgery and have two titanium plates inserted.

Joseph of Fillingham Way, Hatfield was convicted by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm with intent by a majority of 10 to 2. He was cleared of a charge of common assault on Tom Davies.

Peter Marshall, defending, said: "Mr Joseph had walked away after the confrontation with Tom Davis. He was then accosted by Mr Ellis and acted with excessive self defence. It was a over-reaction in a frightening situation for Mr Joseph who had earlier had threats directed at him."

He said Joseph was a very loyal family man who had started his own business with help from the Prince's Trust. "He recognises he has let his family down and he has let himself down, but there is much mitigation in the circumstances."

Judge Andrew Bright QC told Joseph: "You caused very serious injuries. You over-reacted and kicked him while he was on the floor. It was excessive self defence."

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