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Community order for nightclub attacker Daniel Graham
A MAN who attacked a fellow reveller on the dancefloor of a Weymouth nightspot has been spared an immediate custodial sentence.
Daniel Graham, pictured, aged 25, was sentenced to a community order after being convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Giving evidence during Graham’s trial at Dorchester Crown Court, 19-year-old victim Christian Povall said he had been out in Weymouth with friends on the night of September 15 last year and was dancing at Dolce Vita.
He said he felt a ‘bump’ to the back and thought little of it but when it happened a second time he turned round and saw the defendant looking at him.
The teenager said: “I turned round to face my group again and that was when I was punched in the face.”
Mr Povall said he then fell to the floor and felt a ‘strike to the face’ while he was on the ground. He said that by the time he had got to his feet Graham had left the scene.
Mr Povall was left with cuts to his face and had to have a procedure to reset his nose.
Graham, of High Street, Fordington, Dorchester, had claimed he was acting in self defence after the complainant had turned to face him on the dance floor, spat at him and verbally threatened him.
Mr Povall denied he had been the aggressor or done anything to provoke the attack.
After Graham was found guilty by the jury, the court was told Graham had previous convictions for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray, with both offences taking place in licensed premises.
Nick Tucker, mitigating on Graham’s behalf, said his client recognised the need to address his behaviour when under the influence of alcohol.
He said: “The fact remains he has a problem with alcohol and when he drinks he can’t control his temper.”
Judge Roger Jarvis described the assault as an ‘unpleasant violent incident’ and described Graham’s behaviour as the ‘actions of a bully boy’.
However, the judge said he was taking a ‘very unusual step’ by not sending Graham straight to custody.
He imposed a two-year community order with a supervision requirement, an activity requirement to attend a programme for education in keeping calm and a six-month curfew requirement.
Graham was also ordered to pay £800 in compensation.
Judge Jarvis told the defendant: “I’m very concerned as to where your life is leading you and where you are going to end up.
“You are going to end up, if you remain like this, unemployable and spending longer and longer periods of time in custody.”