A JOINER has been jailed for five years for breaking the jaw of a long-distance runner jogging around Grimsbury Reservoir in Banbury.

Denis Mawle, of Wormleighton, Southam, in Warwickshire, was sentence on Thursday after previously being found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent after a trial at Oxford Crown Court.

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The 55-year-old was found to have punched James Zarei, pictured above, more than once – including while he lay on the ground – fracturing his jaw in three places.

Nadia Chbat, prosecuting, said the men argued on September 27 last year at the Banbury reservoir, after Mawle became angry at the jogger for failing to stop after his dog ran after him.

She said his 69-year-old victim had also suffered significant psychological harm as a result of the attack.

Mr Zarei set the British record for six-day ultra distance running when he completed 622 miles in 1990, but Miss Chbat said after the attack he was left housebound. She said: “He was a man who led a very full life at 69 years old, doing marathons and being part of the running community. That is something which has been taken away from him, because his confidence has been seriously affected.”

Recorder Simon Blackford heard mitigation that Mawle had no previous convictions and many glowing references from his family and friends.

But he said the attack that day had reduced Mr Zarei’s “enjoyment of life” by stopping him from doing a hobby he was passionate about.

He told Mawle: “You took it into your head that he should have stopped when your dog ran after him.

“Mr Zarei did nothing wrong and certainly nothing to deserve the level of aggression that you meted out to him.”

After the hearing, investigating officer Detective Constable Samantha Bonner said: “This was a horrific, unprovoked attack that has left the victim, his friends and his family in disbelief that such a serious assault could happen in such a pleasant part of the town.

“The victim has sustained significant injuries leaving him unable to continue his active lifestyle. I welcome the robust sentence imposed.

“It reflects how serious offences against the person are treated by police and courts. The victim has asked me to pass on his thanks for the support he has received from the police, the staff at John Radcliffe Hospital and the Banbury community, especially to those who attended the reservoir in January to support him on his first run back around the reservoir.”

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