51-year-old who knocked friend out with single punch appears in court

A 51-year-old who punched his friend in an “impulsive” assault will have to complete more than 200 hours of unpaid work.

After Lynn man Wayne Kirk committed the offence on April 8 this year, his victim lay unresponsive on the floor of a pub for between five and six minutes.

Kirk, of Greenland Avenue, appeared at the town’s magistrates’ pub on Thursday, where he pleaded guilty to assaulting a person and occasioning them actual bodily harm.

Wayne Kirk appeared at Lynn Magistrates' Court on Thursday
Wayne Kirk appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday

Crown prosecutor Qamar Iqbal told magistrates that Kirk was unable to remember the incident after it took place, but that it was captured on CCTV.

The footage, which was played to the courtroom, showed Kirk and a group of men talking in a town pub. Following an apparent disagreement, one of the men walked around the group to face Kirk – who subsequently punched him, instantly knocking him to the floor.

Mr Iqbal said there were “significant concerns” about the victim, but a brain scan returned clear and there was no blood.

He had reportedly been friends with Kirk for years, and did not wish to press charges. The defendant was said to feel remorse for his actions.

The prosecutor said Kirk’s offence was “impulsive, spontaneous and short-lived”, with a community order likely to prove a sufficient punishment.

In mitigation, George Sorrell said: “Right from the outset, the defendant has expressed his shame and remorse.

“His actions were very much influenced by the fact that he was very highly intoxicated. It was a single blow – it wasn’t pre-meditated at all.

“It seems, happily, that the victim has sustained no serious injuries.”

The solicitor added that Kirk has been out of trouble for 20 years, and is “ashamed of himself so much that he hasn’t drank since” the assault.

Probation officer Lewis Spicer, who carried out a pre-sentence report into Kirk, also said the defendant “appears to feel very ashamed by what happened”.

He added that Kirk was not used to drinking alcohol at the time.

Magistrates, led by Roger Marston, handed Kirk a community order which will require him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £145 in legal costs and a £114 victim surcharge.