Narberth man who attacked groom hours before his wedding avoids jail

First published in News

A NARBERTH man who unlawfully wounded a groom just hours before his wedding has narrowly avoided a jail sentence.

Dean Stephen Thomas Gilpin, 28, of Market Street, pleaded guilty to unlawfully wounding Rhys Thomas in Tenby on August 2, when he appeared before Swansea Crown Court on Thursday (January 30).

Paul Hobson, prosecuting, said Mr Thomas, a Tenby resident, was out with friends on August 1 - the night before his wedding.

After a meal at Top Joe’s, they went to the Tenby House Hotel where Mr Thomas first saw Gilpin, who was trying to talk to his friends.

By 12.30am the party had moved on to the Prince of Wales. While in the toilets Gilpin tried to speak to Mr Thomas who responded by saying: “Just go away mate, you’re boring.”

Mr Thomas was staying at his parents’ house that night. At about 2.45am he felt unwell and went outside to be sick.

When he returned inside, there was a knock at the door. Mr Thomas opened the door and was hit in the face by Gilpin who was holding a stone.

Gilpin then smashed a glass bottle on the garden gate post and said “You’re mugging me off”.

The two men clashed leaving Mr Thomas with three “gaping lacerations” on his hand which required eight stitches at Withybush Hospital.

Referring to character references in support of Gilpin, Carina Hughes, defending, told the court her client was a “fantastic father” and “cares dearly for his children”.

Judge Phillip Richards said: “I accept that you are not a particularly aggressive man and that you were confronted with some behaviour which you were not able to understand on the night in question.

“Nevertheless there can be no doubt that you caused both your victim and his bride considerable unhappiness on his wedding day.”

Judge Richards imposed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for one year, with requirements for 12 months supervision, 100 hours unpaid work and 19 sessions on a thinking skills programme.

Gilpin was also ordered to pay £400 compensation and a £100 victim surcharge.

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