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Ex-pals’ row ended in a fractured skull
A 65-YEAR-OLD man punched a childhood friend, fracturing his skull, in a row over the victim’s “surrogate daughter”.
Peter Bough admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Richard Crook outside a Headington supermarket.
The pair had first met aged five and were in a 1966 motorbike accident where Bough was the driver and Mr Crook the passenger, a judge was told on Friday.
But a “certain coldness” developed between the two over Bough’s alleged interest in Mr Crook’s “surrogate daughter” she said.
Bough had moved to Cornwall 10 years ago but the pair met by chance on January 26 outside the Co-op in London Road, Headington, prosecutor Cathy Olliver told Oxford Crown Court.
She said: “He is face to face with him and he said Mr Bough said something to him.
“He didn’t have his hearing aid in, he didn’t know what was said to him.
“Without warning Mr Bough punched him with force to the head, causing him to fall to the ground.”
Mr Crook banged his head on the pavement and suffered a skull fracture behind his right ear, she said.
Robin Smith, defending, said his client “completely and utterly” rejected Mr Crook’s allegations about the woman, which started in 2008. He told the court: “For reasons known to himself, the complainant got this idea into himself and therefore, for the following three plus years, decided to send some very nasty and offensive messages, by text primarily.”
He said Bough, who moved to Cornwall about 10 years ago and was visiting the city, ran into Mr Crook “by sheer coincidence”.
Mr Smith said: “The punch was thrown by the defendant following the complainant hurling verbal abuse.
“He accepts that was entirely inappropriate and wrong and is genuinely remorseful.”
Bough was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years. Judge Tom Corrie said: “You are now 65 and in poor health – but not such bad health as your victim.
“It is a seriously aggravating feature that you knew that he was frail.
“You should have controlled yourself. It was an undignified and unpleasant scene.”
He said he took into account Bough’s age, health problems and guilty plea, saying: “I hope and know you are thoroughly ashamed of yourself.”
Bough, of Goonhavern, Truro, was also given a four-month 8pm to 8am curfew from October 1 and told to pay his victim £600 compensation.