A 35-year-old man who punched his victim in the face after a night of drinking was "lucky" to avoid jail, according to the Royal Court.
Daniel Wildes was yesterday sentenced to 120 hours of community service - equivalent to six months in prison - in relation to an attack on 30 June last year following an argument in the Royal Square.
Crown Advocate Rebecca Morley-Kirk recommended to the court that Wildes should serve a custodial sentence of eight months.
Crown Advocate Morley-Kirk, prosecuting, said: "The Crown submits that this was a deliberate assault... there appeared to have been a verbal altercation walking past the Royal Square".
Wildes and the man and other people in the group had "consumed a good deal of alcohol" while at the Royal Yacht earlier in the night. She said that CCTV had captured Wildes walking through the square arguing with his victim on their way to a party when "all of a sudden, without warning, the defendant punched [the victim] hard on the face, which caused him to be knocked backwards".
Pictured: Wildes was sentenced in the Royal Court on Wednesday.
The punch did not cause any injuries, Crown Advocate Morley-Kirk added.
Advocate Jeremy Heywood, defending, said: "Offences of violence occurred when Wildes was in Ireland... if he goes to prison it will be a greater financial burden on the state.
"He is getting his life back together, he is contributing towards his children back in Ireland."
Advocate Heywood described the offence as a "single blow which caused no injury and was after provocation".
But Advocate Heywood also acknowledged that Wildes' intoxication would be one of the aggravating factors when deciding the sentence.
Issuing the sentence at the end of proceedings, Commissioner Sir Michael Birt said: "You punched the victim on the cheek, who maintained standing and sustained no injuries.
"At the trial you said you acted in self defence, which was rejected by the jury.
"You have a poor record of offending in Ireland, with numerous public order offences and assaults."
Despite Wildes previous record of offending, Sir Michael added that Wildes was "trying to turn his life around".
He added: "You've started a new relationship with a partner who is a good influence, you have a sister here, you maintain good employment and moved away from the reliance, in Ireland, you had on alcohol and drugs.
"You have been quite lucky not to have gone to prison, if you do re-offend you are quite likely to go to prison. Secondly, you must do the do the community service to the letter and do the work in an enthusiastic manner."
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