Couple tried to ignore New Year night out menace - but he blindsided man then punched his wife

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Couple tried to ignore New Year night out menace - but he blindsided man then punched his wife

Mark Bunney, 41, punched a man to the back of the head then knocked him unconscious and hit his partner when she tried to intervene

A saucer-eyed pub attacker who ruined a couple's New Year night out has started a prison sentence.

The two victims were drinking in Guisborough when they crossed paths with 41-year-old violent offender Mark Julian Bunney.

They had planned to go home at 9.30pm on New Year's Eve last year and tried to ignore Bunney, who was out with his partner.

But the drunken assailant came from behind and punched the man to the back of the head, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Dr Christopher Wood said the victim was knocked unconscious in the ensuing violence.

He suffered a wound to the lip which needed nine stitches.

 

When his partner tried to step in to prevent further attack, Bunney punched her several times to the face.

She was left with two black eyes and facial bruising.

The male victim said in a statement read out in court: "We went out to socialise and had the intention of going home early before drunk people could ruin our night.

"Sadly that did not happen."

He said his attacker was aggressive, his "eyes were really big" and he left him in pain from his injury.

He added: "My partner has also been assaulted. I can't imagine any reason for him hitting her."

The Courtyard , Guisborough

His partner said she could not do her customer service job dealing with the public because of her injuries.

She said: "I went out to socialise with my partner and friends and was assaulted for no reason.

"I'll now be wary of going out to socialise."

Teesside Crown Court

Bunney, of Woodhouse Road, Guisborough, denied wounding and assault causing actual bodily harm.

He claimed he made jovial remarks which were taken the wrong way and he acted in self-defence.

A jury took just over an hour to convict him unanimously on both charges.

He had admitted two more charges of burglary and attempted burglary, breaking into one garage and trying to enter another in Guisborough on April 8.

He had 24 previous offences on his record including two convictions for inflicting grievous bodily harm.

He received an extended sentence including three years' imprisonment in 2007.

Judge Stephen Ashurst jailed Bunney for 21 months and gave him a three-year restraining order to protect the two assault victims and ban him from the Courtyard pub.