Barman suffered fractured eye socket after being punched on night out

The Romany Rye pub in Dereham. Picture: Submitted

The Romany Rye pub in Dereham where Aaron McKee punched a man in the face following a night out in 2019. - Credit: Submitted

A drunk site manager who offered a part-time bar man work punched him in the face, resulting in a fractured eye socket during a night out in Norfolk, a court has heard.

Aaron McKee, 35, and his wife had been out in Dereham where they had been drinking at the Red Lion pub in Dereham and met the victim, who was working as a  barman.

Norwich Crown Court heard the defendant, a self-employed construction site manager, offered the victim some work before they later went back to where they were staying, at the Romany Rye pub in the town.

Nicholas Bleaney, prosecuting, said McKee, his wife and the victim were in the room before McKee "fell asleep, woke up and punched the victim" who suffered a swollen black eye, a fractured eye socket and a deviated septum.

Mr Bleaney said McKee left the scene while the victim, who had contacted other family members, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) where he remained overnight to be treated for his injuries.

An impact statement described how the victim was off work for five weeks following the attack on October 30 2019 and how he has suffered mental health anxiety as a result of what happened.

Mckee, from Bedford, had initially denied inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH) but on Tuesday (July 20) entered a guilty plea to the offence at court.

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Sentencing him to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months Judge Maureen Bacon said she was sentencing McKee on the basis it had been an "impulsive, short-lived incident".

But Judge Bacon described McKee, who is already the subject of a suspended prison sentence in relation to other matters committed elsewhere in the country last year, as a "coward" for the way he had behaved.

McKee was also ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work, 30 days thinking skills programme and 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR).

In addition he was ordered to pay the victim £500 in compensation by December this year.

Manveer Cheema, for McKee, said it was an "impulsive, short-lived attack".

He said alcohol had been consumed on the evening of the incident which dated back to 2019.

He said McKee was sorry for his actions and was remorseful, adding there was a guilty plea in the case.

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