A thug who “nearly killed” a man with a single punch has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Andrew Smith’s brothers were sent down in June for a catalogue of drunken violence, much of which followed arguments over the pool table.

And at Swindon Crown Court on Monday afternoon, their 25-year-old brother followed them to prison.

Sentencing the Toothill man to three years and six months behind bars, Judge Peter Crabtree said: “Without any provocation you struck your victim to the face with your right hand. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and he fell backwards into the road without attempting to break his fall.

“It is clear your assault on him will have a significant life-long impact on him. In a number of respects the extent of that impact will only become clear in due course.”

The judge ordered he serve an extended sentence, meaning Smith must serve at least two thirds of his sentence in jail before he is eligible for release. He was given an extra year to serve on licence.


Earlier this year, Smith, of Stratford Close, Toothill, admitted grievous bodily harm, actual bodily harm and affray.

The GBH charge followed an attack on a man who had agreed to drive him home to Swindon from Trowbridge in January 2020. Smith had been drinking at the Trowbridge Sports Bar.

Smith floored him with a single punch. It resulted in a brain injury that forced surgeons to remove part of the victim’s skull in order to relieve the pressure inside his head. In a victim statement read out by prosecutor Rob Welling in June, the 27-year-old man said: “He nearly killed me.” The victim, who has since had the fragment of skull replaced, had been unable to have unsupervised contact with his newborn son.

A month earlier, in December, Smith had been out in Trowbridge town centre with his parents and brother Michael when the family were involved in a verbal exchange with a drinker outside the Albany Palace Wetherspoons bar.

Fists flew as a brawl erupted between the groups, spilling inside the pub’s lobby. Andrew, who had removed his top when the violence began, kicked a barmaid as she lay on the floor. Mr Welling told the court: “This was violence, uncontrolled, it was very messy.”

Andrew was out on prison on licence when he attacked his victims in Trowbridge last winter. He had been jailed for three years and nine months in January 2018 for wounding with intent, after he broke a man’s jaw in two places in a fight in a One Stop cornershop. His record included a weapons offence, ABH, battery and assaults on police officers


Matthew Harbinson, defending, told the judge on Monday his client was remorseful and had pledged to stop drinking. He had experienced abuse as a child, although the nature of that ordeal was not explained in court.

Smith’s offences had all been committed while under the influence of alcohol. Mr Harbinson said: “It is undoubtedly the case that for Mr Smith being drunk socially and in a familial context has become a way of life.

“There is no restraint. There is on the part of both Mr Smith and his family members a habitual practice of consuming alcohol throughout the day to excess.

“And it is that that has led to all of the matters not just those involving my client but those involving his brothers as well.”

The young man was “decent, sincere and thoughtful” when not drunk, the lawyer said.

Smith, appearing in court via video link from HMP Bullingdon, thanked the judge after his sentence was read out.