A groom-to-be in his 20s has been sent behind bars for nine months after throwing a pint glass at another man in a nightclub, before grabbing him around the neck in a “choke-hold”.
Albie Thurkle’s fiancée broke down in tears when the Relief Magistrate told the Court yesterday that he had “no alternative” but to impose a jail sentence for the grave and criminal assault.
Legal Adviser Carla Carvalho, appearing for the prosecution, summarised the case for Relief Magistrate Nuno Santos-Costa, who was presiding over the Magistrate's Court.
The Court heard that Thurkle – who had come to Jersey from London for work – got involved in a nightclub altercation with his colleagues after getting “tipsy” at the local Beer and Gin festival on 30 March of this year.
After drinking at the festival, Advocate Carvalho explained that Thurkle and his three colleagues went to Tanguy’s nightclub when a fight consisting of pushing and shoving took place between another clubber and one of Thurkle’s work friends.
Pictured: The assault took place in Tanguy's nightclub.
The men were in the area of the DJ box when the clubber said that one of Thurkle’s colleagues “had bumped into him” and was “spilling his pint over him”, describing the group as “being a general nuisance.” It was this that prompted him to push Thurkle’s friend away, giving rise to an “altercation.”
Meanwhile, Thurkle watched the fight unfold, until he proceeded to “throw the pint glass he was holding… striking the right side of [the nightclubber’s] head.”
The Court heard that the fight continued and Thurkle then put his right arm around his victim’s neck, putting him in what was described by the Legal Adviser as a “choke-hold” before he started to “pull the victim to the ground by his neck”, holding him there for around 25 seconds.
As a result of the assault, the victim suffered a “gash” to his ear, “swelling” and a number of “small cuts to the face, neck and head.”
Whilst acknowledging the seriousness of the offence, Advocate Sarah Dale, representing Thurkle, nonetheless asked the Relief Magistrate to impose a community service order rather than a jail term.
Pictured: The 24-year-old was jailed for nine months for the assault.
She emphasised that the Probation Service had assessed him “not just at low risk, but very low risk” of reoffending, adding that he displayed “genuine remorse” and “empathy for the victim” of his attack.
Having retired to consider his decision on sentencing, Relief Magistrate Santos-Costa described the assault as “essentially a moment of madness, which was fuelled to the greater or lesser extent by alcohol.”
Handing down his sentence, the Relief Magistrate said: “The courts… have continually stated that the policy of the courts in relation to glassing offences is a custodial sentence and I cannot deviate from that.”
Pictured: The case was heard in the Magistrate's Court.
Addressing Thurkle directly, the Relief Magistrate explained, “You threw the glass at the victim’s head intending to strike him on the head”, warning the 24-year-old that he was “very, very lucky that the glass did not shatter” or he would be facing far more strict punishment.
“In all the circumstances… I have no alternative but to sentence you to nine months in prison,” Relief Magistrate Santos-Costa said, before ordering Thurkle to pay £1,000 to his victim in compensation for personal injuries and suffering.
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