A ROYAL Navy submariner has been cleared of a late night street attack which left a teenager with a triple fracture to his jaw and three missing teeth.
William Gegg, aged 22, of Windyridge, in Bisley, was found not guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm on the judge's direction at Gloucester Crown Court on Wednesday, January 8.
The prosecution alleged he had run 40 metres down a Cheltenham street to deliver a flying punch to a teenager.
Mr Gegg and the victim had been in rival groups of men who got into a confrontation in Cheltenham Promenade in the early hours of May 11, last year.
Prosecutor Nick Fridd said at the start of the trial: "The defendant ran up from about 40 metres away in around five seconds and delivered a flying punch to the victim's head. He could not have seen him coming.
"The victim was knocked unconscious before he hit the floor and was not able to put his hands out.
"Whether it was the punch or hitting the floor that broke his jaw and causing him to lose his three teeth, isn’t known."
The teenager told the court all he remember was a 'short sharp pain' to his right side before everything went black.
Under cross-examination he conceded that it was a member of his group who started the verbal abuse.
When he saw CCTV of the scene prior to the punch, he also admitted there was a 'three on one situation' which could be perceived as aggressive.
Defending Ramin Pakrooh asked the victim: "Do you accept you were adding to the aggression of the situation?"
"Yes, I do," he replied.
Mr Pakrooh added: "Do you accept that the three of you would have appeared intimidating to anyone watching?"
He said he did.
After hearing legal submissions at the end of the prosecution case the judge, Recorder Rosie Collins, directed the jury to find Mr Gegg not guilty on the grounds that the evidence was not strong enough to ensure a safe conviction.
"The prosecution case was his action was completely unnecessary and out of proportion," she said.
"All the witnesses have been as honest as they could be bearing in mind the amount they all had drunk.
"The victim remembers one man being pursued by three drunken men while abuse and insults were traded on both sides.
"He quite fairly conceded that his actions and that of the two men he was with could have been described as aggressive behaviour."