A DRUNK man who fractured a bar-goer's eye socket with a single punch in Stroud on New Year’s Eve has apologised and been ordered to pay £2,500 in compensation.

Gloucester Crown Court heard last Wednesday, November 15, how James Harlow, 27, attacked the man in Curio Lounge in Stroud around 8.30pm on December 31, 2021.

Prosecutor Syed Ahmed said: "There had been a brief interaction between the two men before the incident occurred.

"The single punch that followed was unprovoked, Harlow using his clenched left fist with full force."

The victim was taken to hospital and needed surgery for three fractures to his face and a broken eye socket, the court heard.

Metal plates had to be fixed in his face to aid recovery.

Harlow was subsequently identified and arrested and during an interview he admitted wounding the man.

In August this year he pleaded guilty at magistrates’ court.

In a victim statement, the victim said he suffers from PTSD and can no longer hold down a full-time job.

Harlow, who was not legally represented, told the judge that since the incident he had taken steps to rehabilitate himself and had sought therapy for his mental health and alcohol issues having fallen into a life which revolved around drugs and alcohol.

The defendant, formerly of Gloucestershire but now of Middleton, King's Lynn, Norfolk, added: “I admit I was drunk and disorderly that night but since this incident I have taken steps to turn my life around. I still need professional help.

"Having had this sentence hanging over me for almost two years, it has been mentally difficult. I moved away from Gloucestershire about a week after the incident.

“I was drunk that night, there is no excuse. My heart went out to the man when I read his victim impact statement. I now fully understand the impact my actions have had on him.”

Harlow pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and was ordered to pay £2,500 in compensation.

Judge Ian Lawrie said:  “I accept this was a one-off incident and you’ve not been in trouble since. 

"You have sought therapy for your various issues which demonstrates that you are suitable for rehabilitation."

An 18-month community order was also imposed with 35 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a six-month alcohol treatment requirement.