Pub landlord jailed for fracturing skull of 'defenceless' 72-year-old victim

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The landlord of a well-known Derbyshire pub fractured the skull of a 72-year-old pensioner in a vicious street attack in broad daylight.

Derby Crown Court heard how Graham Webb grabbed Robert Giles by the lapels of his jacket before pushing him backwards against a wall and causing the fracture.

Witnessed by two women who worked in a local bakery, Webb then punched the pensioner “three-to-five times” to the face before leaving him lying in the street.

The 59-year-old denied the attack, taking the case to trial where Mr Giles was forced to relive his ordeal in the witness box.

But a jury found him guilty of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and Webb has been jailed for 14 months, leaving his partner alone to run The Peacock, in Bakewell.

The extent of the injuries caused to Robert Giles

The extent of the injuries caused to Robert Giles

Judge Peter Cooke said: “You grabbed him by the lapels and slammed him against a wall but it did not stop there.

“You were much younger, trimmer and fitter than the complainant and you unleashed a flurry of punches against a defenceless and elderly gentleman who you had pinned up against the wall.

“I accept you were completely unaware that he had a previous brain injury but you caused a fracture to his skull.

“I heard (during the trial) that in the run-up to the incident there appeared to have been a number of incidents where you and Mr Giles rubbed each other the wrong way.

Graham Webb runs the Peacock pub in Bakewell

Graham Webb runs the Peacock pub in Bakewell

“You did not like or have much time for each other.

“But there was a big age disparity and you must have known that when you grabbed him and started to hit him.”

The attack took place in Water Lane, in the centre of Bakewell, shortly before 5pm on August 31, 2015, but it was two years before the case came to trial.

Mr Giles, who is now 74 and who was seen by Webb as “a cantankerous old man” had to be taken to hospital for treatment after the assault.

Graham Webb, 59, of The Peacock, in Bridge Street, Bakewell

Graham Webb, 59, of The Peacock, in Bridge Street, Bakewell

Speaking after sentencing, he said: “It is a relief that Webb was found guilty however no sentence can undo the injuries he inflicted upon me.

“The guilty verdict and today’s sentencing have provided me with some closure and I am now determined to focus on the future and my recovery.”

Robert recalled to the police that during the assault, due to the force of the punches, his head banged against the wall in the alley.

Judge Cooke said Mr Giles had suffered a brain injury in a previous assault in 2006 which “brought about personality changes” in him including making him short-tempered.

Picture: Victoria Wilcox Derby general gv Derby Crown Court

He said he and Webb, of The Peacock, in Bridge Street, Bakewell, had previously had a number of confrontational incidents but nothing that involved anything physical.

Judge Cooke said on the day of the attack the pair had met in the street and the victim had sworn at Webb who reacted by assaulting him.

He said: “At the time you were successfully running a rather good pub in Bakewell and you were well-respected by the people of the town.

“I know you are now in poor health with prostate cancer but having balanced the evidence and the mitigation only immediate custody can follow.”

Simon Nicholls, for Webb, said his client was unaware the victim had a previous brain injury when he assaulted him.

He said: “He is sorry for the injury the victim suffered and it is clear he did not intend to cause it deliberately.

“There was a degree of provocation and he is a well-known and well-respected man in a small community.

“Since this took place he and the victim have seen each other and there has been no aggression or conflict.”

Speaking after sentencing Rachel Cox, a specialist serious injury solicitor at Irwin Mitchell LLP representing Mr Giles said: “This was a mindless act of violence which left Robert with very serious injuries and we are pleased that the assailant was found guilty.

“The vicious assault that he endured has had a huge effect on his life, leaving him with very severe injuries.

“Head and brain injuries can have such a devastating effect on both individuals and their families. The most serious injuries can cause long term disability leaving those injured needing 24 hour care and rehabilitation for life. We are working with Robert to get him access to the specialist support that he needs.”

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