One punch attack left man with broken jaw and forced to eat through a straw

A man was forced to eat through a straw after having his jaw broken in an unprovoked attack.

Mark Sandford, 23, was assaulted by Nicholas Butcher in Thornhilll, Southampton, three days before Halloween last year,

The 32-year-old attacker, who was wearing a scary mask, had been trying to frighten the victim’s dog at approximately 4.45pm, the court heard.

Butcher then hit Mr Sandford with a single punch when he defended his pet.


Paul Fairley, prosecuting, explained how the defendant asked Mr Sandford ‘are you starting’ before launching the attack.

The victim suffered chipped teeth on top of his broken jaw and needed surgery.

Advertisement Advertisement

‘I am scared to go outside now and don’t feel safe,’ Mr Sandford said in a victim impact statement.

‘I was on a diet without solid food and had to be fed through a straw.

‘I hope he realises the impact that this had on my life. It also affected me financially.’


Butcher, from Bournemouth, Dorset, previously admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm at Southampton Crown Court and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Judge Gary Burrell QC said: ‘This was a vicious and unprovoked attack and you don’t seem to be able to control yourself.

‘Your body language tells me that you don’t disagree with that.’

Fern Russell, defending, added her client was trying to get help for his anger issues and had apologised.

Mr Sandford thanked the police and several motorists who witnessed the incident and came forward.

Butcher had tried to intimidate the drivers before the assault.



Advertisement Advertisement

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with's FREE daily email newsletter.