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Groom who broke bridesmaid's cheekbone in wedding day attack is jailed for 12 months

John Campbell Credit: MEN SYNDICATION

A groom has been jailed for punching two bridesmaids during a booze-fuelled wedding from hell.

John Campbell, 27, admitted he ‘flipped’ while high on booze and cocaine, punching Rachel Walsh, 23, and then flooring mother-of-two Samantha Dewar, 26.

His new bride Nicola, 26, wearing a white wedding dress with 6ft train, watched her best friend Samantha punched to the ground as her big day turned violent in the car park of the Masonic Hall in Macclesfield.

Jailing Campbell for 12 months, Judge Roger Dutton said he had punched Samantha with ‘some ferocity’ as it smashed her cheekbone.Prosecutor Jayne Morris told Chester Crown Court how the September 12 drink-fuelled wedding reception turned sour at around 1am in the car park.

Samantha Dewar Credit: MEN SYNDICATION

Miss Dewar went out of the front entrance of the hall when she heard shouting and another bridesmaid, Rachel Walsh, ‘upset and crying’ after she had been punched by Campbell, who ‘looked angry and had his face screwed up’, the court heard.

Ms Walsh vomited and a male wedding guest tried to calm Campbell, an apprentice printer, in vain.

Prosecutor Ms Morris told the court:

“Eventually the defendant was escorted away by another male. Miss Dewar then approached the defendant and asked what had been going on. He then turned to face her and without warning punched her to the left side of her face and as a result of the blow she fell backwards. The next thing that she recalls is her being on her back with her friend over her.”

– Prosecutor Jayne Morris

Miss Dewar, who the court heard was also drunk, was sick in the car park and was later taken to Macclesfield District General Hospital before being transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital.

She was x-rayed and had a CT scan which revealed a fracture to her left cheekbone.

Surgeons operated and inserted a metal place inside her face, the court heard.

The court heard that the other bridesmaid, Miss Walsh, had not provided police with a statement about the attack on her.

When Campbell was arrested, he told police he had been run over by a car and admitted he had ‘a lot to drink’ and had snorted cocaine, the court was told.

He told officers he been having an argument with his new wife about driving a car and that he ‘flipped’.

He admitted he was annoyed that Miss Dewar was ‘getting involved’ and that he was ‘ashamed of himself’.

CCTV played in court showed Campbell punching Miss Dewar to the floor and his new bride running over. It also shows bride and groom arguing moments before.

The court heard Campbell had four previous convictions for ten offences, three for violence aimed at his ex-partner.

David Morton, defending, handed a letter to the judge which expressed ‘heartfelt regret’ for the defendant’s actions:

“He recognised that alcohol and him don’t mix and would not mix in the future. This was his wedding night and particularly embarrassing and hugely regrettable not just because of his predicament but also the unintended injury which he didn’t realise was so serious."

– David Morton, defending

He told the court his client had suffered ‘some goading, saw red and lost control briefly’.

Campbell had later been knocked over by Miss Dewar’s husband’s 4x4 and was ‘set upon’ and required treatment in hospital, according to Mr Morton.

The court heard Miss Dewar’s husband was arrested although no charges were brought.

Campbell, of Queens Avenue in Macclefield, was jailed for 12 months after he admitted GBH.

Judge Roger Dutton told him:

“You pleaded guilty to causing serious injury to this lady in a criminal assault. This was your wedding day. At the end of it in the car park there was some form of disagreement involving a number of people.

"CCTV evidence shows your wife was out there as well and at one point you were walking across the car park and the complainant, a young lady who’s a good friend if not the best friend of your now wife, went over it would appear to remonstrate with you and without entertaining an conversation with her you turned and punched her full in the face, a punch of some ferocity.

"As a consequence she was laid flat and went on hospital. It was detected you had broken her cheek. As a result, she required general anaesthetic for the insertion of a metal plate to her injury.”

“Other than the mere fact of being the victim of a criminal attack she feels she has lost her best friend. There are a lot of ramifications to this case which go beyond a simple blow.”

– Judge Roger Dutton

The judge noted the defendant had three previous convictions for violence and said:

“I take the view that custody is inevitable in this case.”

– Judge Roger Dutton