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Pops Jerk owner knocked out rival in Herne Bay in dispute over caravan

A restaurant owner punched a rival unconscious, breaking his jaw, outside his high street premises in a row over cash.

Damien Davies, 42, set upon Craig Washington outside Pops Jerk in Herne Bay, when a dispute between the pair spilled onto Richmond Street.

Damien Davies, 42, has been convicted of GBH
Damien Davies, 42, has been convicted of GBH

Jurors cleared Davies of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, a charge which carries a maximum sentence of 16 years.

But they unanimously convicted the restaurateur of grievous bodily harm, a lesser charge, on Tuesday following a two-day trial at Canterbury Crown Court.

Davies and Mr Washington, who were once friends, clashed inside the popular Caribbean venue during an afternoon of August 2020.

Tension flared between the two at the height of the pandemic during a disagreement over a rented caravan.

Davies threw money at the floor while Mr Washington knocked over a stack of Covid-19 safety leaflets, prosecutors told the court.

Following the disturbance Mr Washington returned to his car parked outside Pops, with Mr Davis in pursuit.

"The defendant chose to follow Mr Washington out of Pops Jerk and said 'you don't do that in my shop.'

"He then went and punched Mr Washington in the head causing Mr Washington to stumble and fall to the ground, the prosecution say the defendant also kicked him," the prosecutor said.

"He left Mr Washington in what appeared to be an unconscious state."

Mr Washington told the court as he drew up to his vehicle he suddenly lost consciousness.

"I was getting into the car and I heard (Davies) shouting something about 'don't do that to my shop.'

"I remember the shouting and the next thing I remember was being surrounded by the police trying to help me up off the floor," he said.

Mr Washington suffered fractures to both sides of his jaw and a cut to the back of his head.

An air ambulance landed at the scene, however Mr Washington was rushed to a nearby hospital by road, where his wound was treated with surgical glue.

Davies, of Chestnut Drive, Herne Bay, argued during the trial he acted in self-defence after Mr Washington provoked him.

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Following his conviction Judge Catherine Brown granted him conditional bail pending probation reports.

"If you were to breach these conditions then you could be remanded in custody pending your sentence," she told him.

"You have to be here, you are on bail, if you are not here that is a separate offence."

Davies, represented by Charlotte Oliver, will be sentenced on May 31.

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