A fight erupted between two men after an argument about the British National Party, Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard. Philip Owen, 42, from Albion Street in the town centre, pleaded guilty to hitting Sean Enwright at a Swindon working men’s club on June 6 last year.
The actual bodily harm charge came about after Owen had been talking about the BNP to his friends when he asked Mr Enwright, a former military man, if he would join the group. He did not like the content of the conversation so Mr Enwright, 59, said the Second World War was meant to stop people behaving in the way Owen was acting.
Owen saw red, saying “I’m going to hurt you,” before attacking him. Mr Enwright suffered a cut to his left ear and was unable to remember how he got to the Great Western Hospital when he regained consciousness.
Owen, who has a history of ABH incidents on his record stretching back to 1983, did not make any comment to police during his first interview. But he later pleaded guilty to the charge.
“You hit him and he is a lot older than you,” said Judge Simon Cooper. “You were fired up and shouldn’t have allowed yourself to punch him. But there were no serious injuries and there has been no record of violence for 15 years. I believe this was an isolated incident.”
CCTV footage captured the incident unfolding, although the judge said viewing the tape would not expand on the facts of the case.
Owen apologised for the incident and for wasting the courts’ time. He was given a 12-month community order, which will be supervised for the first nine months, in a conflict resolution programme. He also will carry out 100 hours of community service in unpaid work. Owen was ordered to pay £200 in compensation for the injury and suffering to Mr Enwright and £60 court costs. It will be paid in two instalments over the next two months.