A teenager had an 18th birthday to forget after landing up with a criminal record for assault.
Paul Arthurs, formerly of Coventon Road, Aylesbury, pleaded guilty to the attack on Tony Gregory in Pitstone Recreation Ground on May 5 – the day he turned 18.
Prior to the day of the attack the defendant and his brother had been involved in an argument over the phone with Mr Gregory and his friends.
Following the chance encounter in the playing fields, Arthurs approached the victim, saying: “Come on, big man – come and fight me.”
Prosecutor Carole Henry said Mr Gregory resisted any physical altercation and endured several minutes of ‘goading’.
When the victim turned to speak to one of his friends, Arthurs delivered a blow to his right cheek, causing the left side of his face to smack the metal shelter he was sitting in.
Ms Henry said the punch left him ‘quite shocked and dizzy’.
Mr Gregory went to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where he was treated for bruising and swelling to his face.
Aylesbury magistrates heard today that in interview with police, Arthurs had claimed he was first pushed by Mr Gregory, and had acted in self-defence.
He later retracted this and pleaded guilty to assault.
Arthurs, who has no previous convictions or cautions, was wearing a suit at the time of the attack, as he was on his way to a family dinner to celebrate his coming of age.
His defence lawyer Mr Cronin argued his client had acted in excessive self-defence, as he believed he would have been hit if he did not strike first.
Mr Cronin argued there was a lack of pre-meditation in the assault and it was not a sustained attack but a single hit.
Arthurs, who is on jobseekers’ allowance and has sinced moved to live with his grandparents in Dalmuir, Scotland, was fined £250 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim, £100 court costs and a £25 victim surcharge.