20st power lifter broke woman's jaw by pushing her into a step
A TWENTY stone power lifter broke a woman’s jaw when he pushed her into a step head first following an altercation at a Gloucester nightclub.
Tamaryn van der Merwe, 30, was left with a speech impediment following the attack at Liquid on February 16 this year.
Robert Colley had pleaded not guilty to causing her grievous bodily harm, but admitted it just before the start of his trial after CCTV footage was shown to the court yesterday.
Defending George Thelfall said the 26-year-old had realised the force he used may have not been reasonable and could have been disproportionate.
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The shocking video showed the small woman flying metres following the push. He then calmly walked off as she was left lying on the floor with a broken jaw.
Gloucester Crown Court heard Miss van de Merwe’s friend had been escorted out of the club after spitting at Colley.
She was said to have been “pushing and poking” him about getting her friend thrown out of the club before he was spat at for the second time that night.
Prosecuting Chris Smyth said the incident had a “catastrophic affect” on the woman and part of her jaw was still not working.
He questioned the trainee electrician’s remorse and referred to Facebook comments he had posted after the attack.
They stated: “The only people that know what happened were the people that were there. Cross me at your peril. You wouldn’t walk up to a lion and start slapping it around the face.
“If you come at me with an attitude you had better come prepared.
“I never have or never will go down easily.”
But Mr Thelfall said these comments were made in response to later confrontations with the victim’s boyfriend in a bid to deter further problems.
He said: “He had had enough, but he miscalculated the force.
“Obviously he did not foresee, because of the drink he had, that there were steps there and he didn’t foresee the serious consequences that she would break her jaw.
“This came at a very difficult time for him; he had been looking after his father, who had terminal cancer, for a year.
“He has been as much upset by the whole thing as the complainant herself.
“He didn’t go out looking for trouble that evening – he had been spat at in the face for the second time.
“This is a man who is trying to make something of his life.
“He is undergoing training to a high level and is investing £16,000 of his inheritance into his future.”
The court heard Colley had a previous conviction for possession of an imitation firearm in 2008 and two for criminal damage, but none for violence.
A jury trial was due to start yesterday morning before Colley from Golden Vale in Churchdown’s 11th hour change of plea.
Mr Thelfall made a goodyear application to find out what would be the maximum sentence his client would receive if he had pleaded guilty.
But Judge William Hart refused the application, stating he would make no promises and Colley changed his plea anyway.
He will appear back before Gloucester Crown Court on a date to be fixed for sentencing.