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Thug jailed for 'shocking' nightclub attack
Updated 4:13pm Monday 10th March 2014 in News
A MAN who launched a ‘shocking’ and ‘sustained’ attack on two people in a nightclub toilet has been jailed.
Rhys Edward Ellard, of Cobham Drive, Weymouth, pictured right, admitted two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Prosecutor Anita Gibson-Lee told Dorchester Crown Court that Ellard, 20, followed the two victims to the bathroom after ‘some sort of bumping into each other’ by an arcade machine in Aura on September 15 last year.
CCTV footage played to the court showed a short conversation taking place before the defendant punched both victims, one of whom was an off-duty police officer.
Miss Gibson-Lee said one victim had to have his eyebrow glued together by paramedics, leaving a permanent scar, and the other was left with bruising and swollen cheeks.
She added that the off-duty police officer had said in a statement: “I was disgusted in the way he had acted. He was violent and aggressive, and acted like a bully.”
Mitigating, Richard Tutt said Ellard had shown ‘genuine remorse’.
He said: “The footage shows a shocking period of 30 seconds to a minute of behaviour which plainly can’t be justified.”
Mr Tutt added that since the incident, 20-year-old Ellard has referred himself for treatment to tackle his alcohol dependency and found steady employment.
Ellard’s mother was also invited to give evidence to the court of her son’s character.
She said: “He is really ashamed of himself. I have told him how disappointed I am in him. I know he can change and I know our family will help him do it.”
Judge Roger Jarvis noted that the offence happened just three days after the completion of the defendant’s licence period following his release from jail on previous matters.
He jailed Ellard for 10 months on each of the new offences, to be served concurrently. Judge Jarvis said: “It is unfortunately part of what is a developing pattern.
“It is perfectly obvious that what you have done has caused a great deal of anxiety and stress to your family and those close to you.
“I keep in mind that there are facets of your character which are laudable. You are hard working and people speak very highly of you.
“I have had to look at images which in my judgement show a shocking incident.”
Judge Jarvis added: “You are far too fond of your fists and there is something of a Jekyll and Hyde about you. This was a sustained, repeated assault.”
Brother in contempt of court
THE defendant’s brother Dale Ellard was held in contempt of court after shouting at the judge.
As Rhys Ellard was led to the cells, his brother called out and swore from the public gallery.
Judge Roger Jarvis ordered him to be arrested and to temporarily be held in the cells.
Dale Ellard later apologised for his actions when he was brought to the dock.
Judge Jarvis said: “Looking at those images, a judge couldn’t do anything other than consider a sentence of imprisonment.
“I’m going to accept your apology but you must never behave like that if you come into court again.
“If there is heard to be another outburst, you won’t be dealt with so leniently.”
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