Ex-Team GB boxer avoids jail for hitting and permanently scarring man in Newcastle nightclub

Franklyn Declan Fusco pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm without intent after hitting a man and causing him to hit his head on a marble table. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

A former Team GB boxer has been spared jail for leaving a man with permanent scars when he hit him in a nightclub.

Franklyn Declan Fusco hit a man in Tup Tup Palace with his open palm, causing the victim to fall and hit his head on a marble table. The man suffered a deep cut on his nose which needed to be glued back together and left a permanent scar.

The attack took place after the victim and his friends, who had travelled to Newcastle for a night out, were seen talking to two women, which a friend of Fusco's "took exception" to. It wasn't long before he intervened and hit the victim.

Fusco, 32, of Coalfield, Wallsend, previously pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm without intent and was handed a 15-month suspended sentence at Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday 31 August.

The court heard that the victim was visiting the North East with a group of friends over the bank holiday weekend of 30 August 2021. They were in the VIP section of the nightclub near to a DJ booth when the group began chatting to two women.

The attack happened inside Tup Tup Palace in Newcastle. Credit: Google Maps

Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, said: "Two girls were there which they had met in the club. The complainant didn't know them. Another unknown man took exception that the defendant and his group were talking to them. This man squared up to the complainant and he said he wanted no trouble, things then calmed down.

"Around 10 minutes later the man returned with the defendant. The complainant was talking to this unknown male when he was assaulted by the defendant. He then struck his face on the corner of a marble table, causing a nasty gash to the bridge of his nose and a cut to his eyebrow."

Mr Wardlaw said that the victim's nose had to be glued back together in hospital. He had no recollection of the attack but was left with a permanent scar. Fusco was arrested outside the club.

The court heard Fusco had 17 previous convictions for 36 offences, with Mr Wardlaw calling him a "man of violence". He had previous convictions for section 20 assault, battery and assault of an emergency worker. Mr Wardlaw added that Fusco's "boxing ability" aggravated the offence.

Rachel Hedworth, defending, said the whole incident lasted minutes, with the actual assault being "one push with the palm of his hand" and he had not expected the victim to fall and hit the table. She said Fusco feels "utterly remorseful" and now takes medication for his ADHD, which has had a significant impact.

She added: "He is continuing with his boxing. He represented Great Britain and England and won three gold medals. He's been playing a pivotal role at his local boxing club on a voluntary basis and he loves what he's doing."

The court also heard that a positive reference from Wallsend Boxing Academy was submitted to the court.

Sentencing Fusco, Recorder Shufqat Khan said he accepted that he was "genuinely remorseful" and handed him a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He must also complete 19 sessions of a thinking skills programme, up to 25 rehabilitation days and 150 hours of unpaid work. He must also complete a 120-day alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement.

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