Welwyn Garden City man jailed for five years over pub attack

PUBLISHED: 09:24 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:31 30 November 2017

Paul Foster. Photo: Herts Police

Paul Foster. Photo: Herts Police

Archant

A Welwyn Garden City man has been sentenced to five years in prison for an “unprovoked” attack in a pub.

Paul Foster, 42, from Rowans, appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, November 24, having pleaded guilty to wounding with intent.

Foster permanently damaged his victim Mr Broadway’s right eye after punching him six or seven times at the White Horse pub in London Colney on Saturday, July 8.

Witnesses said Foster landed five or six of those blows after he had knocked his victim to the floor.

Douglas Page, speaking for the prosecution, said the witness thought Foster wasn’t going to stop “raining” blows on Mr Broadway.

Mr Broadway’s front tooth is now dead, and will need to be removed and replaced.

Additionally, after being examined at Moorfields, it was found permanent damage has been done to his right pupil.

It no longer reacts to light, neither dilating nor contracting, so he cannot drive at night anymore.

Mr Broadway has not been at work since July because of his vision, and has been brought to tears with anxiety surrounding when he can go back to work.

Foster had a number of previous convictions dating back to one in 1997 for actual bodily harm in a pub.

In 2002 he was involved in an incident at George the 2nd pub in Luton.

In 2007, he punched a man sitting in his car through an open window and tore of the victim’s wing mirror.

In 2009, while Foster was under the influence of alcohol, he went to a block of flats and grabbed a woman and shouted at her, believing it to be his ex-partner.

He later admitted it could have been the wrong block of flats.

In 2013, he was found guilty of pushing someone off of a moped outside a WGC bar and in 2015, he went to his ex-partner’s house and grabbed her by the throat.

Foster’s defence counsel, Mohammed Bashir, said at the age of 12 Foster’s parents divorced and went their separate ways.

“He was left to his own devices”, Mr Bashir said.

“He tried to grow up without a father figure, and has used alcohol in moments of stress as a crutch.

“This does not mean he is an alcoholic. He cannot cope with the emotions and stresses of life.”

He had been sacked from his job after breaking up with his partner and boss, and then had to pay maintenance on their two children.

Foster’s family are now attempting to reconnect with him, and build bridges.

Mr Bashir said they recognised Foster’s offending was caused in part by them leaving him behind.

“Had he had family support from the outset and learned how to deal with stressful situations, he would not be here.”

Foster has started an anger management course, and has apologised for what happened.

Judge Andrew Bright commended Foster’s good sense for pleading guilty to wounding with intent at the first opportunity.

But also highlighted Foster’s significant criminal record.

“This was an unprovoked and sustained attack upon a man who if you had known him would know had a tough time with his mental health.”

The probation officer’s report said Foster was not a dangerous offender, and was not likely to commit further serious harm in the future.

Judge Bright added he was satisfied Foster had not used a weapon, but his six previous convictions pushed up the sentence.

Foster was sentenced to five years in prison, and would be released under licence after two years and two months. He must also attend courses, and pay a victim surcharge.

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