Bouncer who knocked out father with a single punch avoids jail

Nightclub bouncer who was caught on CCTV knocking out father-of-three with a single punch that left him with ‘life-changing’ brain injuries avoids jail

  • Gary Moffett felled Graham Crawford with a single punch in September 2018
  • Moffett punched Mr Crawford after refusing him entry to Newcastle’s Popworld
  • Shocking CCTV shows Mr Crawford, 41, being knocked unconscious by the blow
  • Moffett, 48, was spared jail with a 12-month sentence suspended for 18 months

A nightclub bouncer has been spared jail after he felled a father-of-three with a single punch, leaving him in a coma for six days and with life-changing injuries. 

Gary Moffett, 48, from Cramlington, Northumberland, punched Graham Crawford, 41, to the ground after refusing him entry to Popworld in Newcastle’s Bigg Market in September 2018.

Mr Crawford, from Dudley, West Midlands, had already been kicked out of the nightclub when he tried to get back in and Moffett hit him, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Shocking CCTV footage, released by Northumbria Police, showed Moffett, who is a former serviceman, talking to Mr Crawford before felling him with a single blow to the head, rendering him unconscious.

Father-of-three Mr Crawford fractured his skull when his head hit the pavement and he spent six days in an induced coma and 19 days in intensive care at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Doorman Gary Moffett, 48, from Cramlington, punched Graham Crawford, 41, to the ground after refusing him entry to Popworld in Newcastle’s Bigg Market in September 2018

Mr Crawford suffered damage to part of his brain as a result of the violent assault, meaning he has permanently lost his sense of smell.

Moffett, who was a member of the Royal Regiment Fusiliers and served in Northern Ireland and the Gulf war, was arrested and charged with causing GBH with intent.

On August 24, after maintaining his innocence during a two-day trial, Moffett was found guilty. 

Moffett has been spared jail as he was handed a 12-month sentence suspended for 18 months, but he has lost his licence to work as a door supervisor and his council maintenance job.

Peter Schofield, defending, said Moffett, who had peacekeeping duties in Bosnia and Croatia when he was a serviceman, has health problems and has expressed regret for what took place. 

References from his former army bosses say he acted ‘above reproach’ during his career and conducted himself with ‘respect, maturity and honour’.

In a victim impact statement read out in court after the trial, Mr Crawford’s wife Lindsay detailed the extent of the injuries and how the harrowing attack had changed the family’s life forever.

She said her husband has been left in a ‘vulnerable’ state from the actions of a man who she claimed has ‘shown no remorse’, saying she does not know how he sleeps at night.

Father-of-three Mr Crawford fractured his skull when his head hit the pavement and he spent six days in an induced coma and 19 days in intensive care at the Royal Victoria Infirmary

Moffett (pictured) avoided jail as he was handed a 12-month sentence suspended for 18 months, but he lost his licence to work as a door supervisor and his council maintenance job

The statement read: ‘On the evening of the assault I rang Graham and his phone was answered by a nurse who told me he was in intensive care. 

‘I was struck with fear, shock and absolute terror as to what had happened to him. That was the start of the worst days of my life.

‘While I was dealing with my fears and emotions I had to return home and tell my children their dad was in hospital and not very well. When they cried and wanted to see him I lied to protect them.

‘When Graham was more stable I was able to take the kids to go and see him more often. 

‘I could feel that I was broken inside but had to keep going on autopilot, I was afraid that if I stopped I would break down and not get back up again.

‘To think that someone in authority felt it acceptable to throw such a damaging punch knowing it could cause irreparable damage leaves me sick to my stomach and I don’t know how the man who did this can sleep at night.

‘I have great feelings of foreboding and trepidation. Graham is now in a vulnerable state due to the actions of one man who I don’t think has shown any remorse. 

‘There was no need for him to have punched Graham in any circumstances. That punch has changed our family’s life forever.’

Sentencing, Judge Christopher Prince told Moffett: ‘The jury found you should not have punched him.’

The judge added: ‘For some reason, when you were working that night, you behaved in a way that was totally and utterly out of character for you and you have certainly paid the price, in some respects, for having done so.’

Moffett was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with rehabilitation requirements.

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