Published: 15:10, 25 June 2012
by Julia Roberts
A thug who left a man with a fractured skull after knocking him to the ground with a single punch sobbed as he was jailed for 14 months today.
Gregg Nicholson held his head in his hands and then reached out to his parents sitting in the public gallery as he was led from the dock at Maidstone Crown Court down to the cells.
The 23-year-old, of Belgrave Road, Tunbridge Wells, had admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm to Joshua Tubby during a night out in Maidstone on December 4.
The court heard a "scrap" involving several people broke out just before 4am in the town centre as people queued for taxis.
CCTV footage played in court showed Nicholson running towards Mr Tubby and striking him once.
Mr Tubby, who himself was said by prosecutor Ian Foinette to be "intoxicated by quite some way", fell to the ground, striking his head, and lay unconscious in the road.
He suffered bleeding and swelling between his skull and brain and spent three days in intensive care.
The court was told the steel erector still has no sense of smell or taste and often suffers dizzy spells.
Jailing Nicholson, Judge Michael Carroll said no other sentence could be justified, despite "excellent" testimonials from his parents and employer.
"A single blow was delivered with considerable force and determination which rendered your victim unconscious, possibly even before he banged his head on the floor," added the judge.
The court heard Nicholson had drunk seven vodka Red Bulls during the evening and was standing in the taxi queue in Bank Street when he saw two friends exchanging punches with others.
Mr Foinette said Nicholson later told police: "He said he went up to someone and 'punched someone to the floor.' He said it was a hard punch and walked away because he knew he had done 'something bad'."
Nicholson was arrested 20 minutes later while sitting on steps outside the nearby NatWest bank.
When interviewed, he immediately expressed remorse and asked about Mr Tubby's condition. The court was told he spent 12 days in hospital and has no recollection of the attack.
Nicholson denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent and the charge was left on file.