Plymouth man left blind in one eye after row over a £10 bet
A MAN was left blinded in one eye when he was punched in the face in a row over a £10 horse racing bet, a court heard.
Patrick Pawley, aged 55, was left with a ruptured eyeball when he was hit in an unprovoked attack in a city club, Plymouth Crown Court was told.
He has lost all vision in his right eye – and already had only 50 per cent vision in his left.
The dispute, after both men were drinking, arose from a £10 bet on the Grand National.
Assailant Paul Stabb, aged 62, avoided an immediate jail term after a judge told him the seriousness of the injury was partly "a matter of chance".
Stabb, walking from court with a suspended prison sentence, said: "This will haunt me for the rest of my life."
He admitted maliciously wounding Mr Pawley at the Number 10 club in North Road West on May 20 last year.
Recorder Jonathan Barnes said that no sentence he could pass would adequately reflect the injury Mr Pawley had suffered.
But he said he had to weigh the "devastating consequences" of the attack with the fact it was a single punch by a man aged 62 of previous good character.
Recorder Barnes said: "He shows very deep remorse for the terrible injury he has caused. It was of course an isolated incident."
David Gittins, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the attack came from the left and slightly behind.
He was left with a fractured cheekbone as well as the eye injury.
The court was shown CCTV footage of Stabb throwing a single swinging punch into his face.
Mr Gittins said both men had been drinking, but had argued over £10 Mr Pawley was said to owe Stabb in a racing bet.
Piers Norsworthy, for Stabb, of Durham Cottages, Stonehouse, said: "He is to be sentenced for a momentary lack of control. He allowed himself to be wound up for whatever reason.
"The punch he threw could have resulted in just a reddening to the cheek."
Stabb was handed a eight-month prison sentence, suspended for a year.
He must do 200 hours unpaid work and pay Mr Pawley £1,500 compensation.
Stabb said outside court: "As I said in a letter to the court, this is so out of character, even to me this seems unbelievable.
"It is something which is going to haunt me now for the rest of my life. I never set out to injure anyone. My thoughts are with him."