Wedding guest ‘was lucky not to have been killed’ another guest felled him with a single punch

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

A WEDDING guest was left with a broken nose after he was accused of flirting with another man’s girlfriend.

Builder Ryan Mulliner, 22, from Preston, was told he was lucky not to have killed David Smith when he felled him with a single blow at the celebration at Ingol Golf Club, Preston, knocking him unconscious.

Preston Crown Court heard Mulliner attended the wedding with his girlfriend Malissa Strahand – a friend of the bride – on September 13.

As celebrations were in full swing Mulliner saw Smith behaving in what he thought was a flirty way with Malissa and other guests on the dancefloor.

Later in the evening Malissa and Smith’s wife Julie started arguing and the men stepped in.

Mulliner accused Smith of trying it on with his girlfriend and punched him to the face, knocking him to the ground.

Mr Smith refused medical attention and remembered nothing of the attack until his wife Julie told him the following day and his daughter called an ambulance.

He was taken to Royal Preston Hospital and treated for a broken nose - which took three days to stop bleeding.

Two weeks after the attack he was still in pain after suffering swelling to his eye and a sore jaw.

Mulliner pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm, claiming he was acting in self-defence but had taken it too far.

Recorder Guy Mathieson, sentencing, said: “Whatever you think went on at that wedding you were in drink and to some extent, so was your victim.

“It seems to have been a decent night out that got nasty because you perceived this man was being unpleasant to women.

“You took it upon yourself to intervene. You did not need to do that and you should not have done that.

“It ended with you punching him fully in the face.

“You used aggressive language and made unpleasant accusations.

“When you were challenged by someone at the party you said he had it coming and deserved everything he got.

“I don’t know if you have ever heard the phrase ‘one punch manslaughter’ but because of actions like this people fall back and bang their heads and very easily die.

“You would have been looking at a sentence of many years.

“That is why you don’t get involved in drunken arguments.”

He handed Mulliner a 12 month community order with 240 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay £520 court costs.

The judge added: “Just do not get involved in these things.

“Whatever you thought had happened and whatever you thought he deserved, you are now the one with a criminal record and are going to suffer the punishment.

“It’s a fool’s game.”