A PROFESSIONAL heavyweight boxer has been jailed for seriously and possibly permanently damaging a woman’s eyesight in a pub attack.
Mitchell Barton’s fighting career may also have ended because of the incident in a Selby pub.
Michael Bosomworth, prosecuting, said the 22-year-old knocked the woman out cold with a single punch to her face.
The blow broke her cheekbone and eye socket and she had to undergo surgery to repair the injuries.
Barton fled from the pub.
“He made no attempt to see how she was or give her any aid,” said Mr Bosomworth.
The woman had wanted him to get out of her way so she could seek help following a melee involving other men and her brother, the prosecution barrister told the court.
Barton had to be tracked down through the BBC Crimewatch programme.
A British Boxing Board of Control spokesman said after the case Barton’s licence had been suspended pending a hearing.
Sentencing Barton, Recorder Darren Preston said: “Your licence to carry on boxing professionally will at least suffer and your career suffer even if it is not ended by this incident.
“You are obviously a powerful man.
“You should be able to control your temper as a boxer.
“Such are the injuries, and such is the effect upon her and her life, the offence is too serious to impose a suspended sentence.”
In a personal statement, the woman said she now has double vision.
“This is something I believe will stay with me for the rest of my life,” she said.
She had had to change her job, her social life and her leisure life.
Barton, of Brickfield, Tweedmouth, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.
He was jailed for 13 months.
His barrister Andrew Stranex told York Crown Court the incident was out of character.
“His thoughts are primarily for the complainant, not for himself,” he said.
“He is very sorry for what happened.
“He works hard, he trains hard in order to develop his life and his career.”
With help from his parents, Barton was offering to pay £2,000 compensation to the victim.
Mr Bosomworth said Barton and the woman were with different groups in the Finkle bar in Selby on November 30, 2019.
At midnight, she was unhappy with the way a group in the upstairs part of the bar were behaving towards her.
She asked them what their problem was and they walked towards her.
Her brother stepped between her and them and there was a scuffle that left him bleeding heavily.
She tried to get help for him, but Barton was standing in the doorway leading to the stairs down.
“She shouted at him to get out of the way. He responded by shouting at her,” said Mr Bosomworth.
She pushed him a couple of times and Barton knocked her out with a blow to her cheek.
Mr Stranex said Barton had handed himself in when he realised police wanted to speak to him.