A MAN was so drunk he couldn’t remember delivering a knock-out kick to his neighbour after they’d argued over a bank card.

Convicted robber Ryan Steer, who had been released from prison on licence just four months earlier, told police of his surprise at having injured his friend.

He had got on well with the victim and would “give him a hug” when he next saw him, contrite Steer told detectives.

Jailing the 21-year-old for two years and eight months at Swindon Crown Court this afternoon, Judge Jason Taylor QC said: “I accept that you are remorseful, you are genuinely contrite over the level of injury you caused.

“I also accept there was a lack of pre-meditation. This was a few moments of madness after an argument flared up.”

Prosecutor David Maunder told the court that Steer had been drinking at his neighbour’s flat in a supported accommodation block in Unity Street, Chippenham, on the evening of November 22 last year.

In the early hours of the next morning the pair had argued over the victim’s bank card, which Steer wanted to use to buy more alcohol. Punches were thrown before the pair wrestled on the ground.

Steer was seen shoving a woman who had been with them earlier in the evening.

The victim, 23, went back into the fray then Steer delivered what one witness described as a roundhouse kick to the man’s head – following it up with another kick that left him unconscious for around a minute.

Mr Maunder said the victim suffered multiple fractures around his eye socket, a dislocated knee and extensive bruising. A metal plate had to be fitted several weeks later to fix his broken bones.

In a victim personal statement, the man said the attack had damaged his confidence. He was very self-conscious about his appearance and now no longer liked to feature in photographs.

Interviewed by the police on November 23, Steer said he had no memory of the assault. He was contrite and surprised by the damage he’d done, telling officers that when he walked out of the police station he would go up to the victim and give him a hug.

Wiltshire Times:

Ryan Steer's custody shot Picture: WILTSHIRE POLICE

Steer, of Unity Street, Chippenham, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and common assault. He had earlier faced allegations of wounding with intent, criminal damage and possession of a weapon, which were abandoned by prosecutors.

The court heard Steer had been recalled to prison on licence, having been sentenced in 2019 to more than two years in custody for robbery and assault.

Matthew Scott, mitigating, accepted his client had a poor record but said the level of violence he inflicted last November was out of character.

He said: “He is remorseful for what he’s done. It was a terrible incident in which he was involved, but the serious part of it was in fact the very short-lived outburst of violence which for him was out of character. 

“He has taken a look at himself in the mirror and he is absolutely determined he will never get involved in anything like this in the future.”

While in custody, Steer had got clean from drugs and hoped to obtain qualifications in maths and English.

Addressing the judge directly, Steer asked for clemency: “All I can ask is just do what you think is necessary. I’m sorry for what I’ve done.”

Police welcome sentence

Welcoming the jail sentence, PC Kelly Higginbottom of Melksham CID said: “This was a violent and sustained assault which has left the victim with long-term injuries.

“Not only is he still recovering from the physical impact of the attack, but he is also having to deal with the mental scars.

“I hope that today’s sentence shows the victim that justice has been done.”

Det Insp Tom Straker added: “Steer is a violent offender who left his victim with serious injuries.

“We welcome today’s sentence and I would like to thank my team of officers and staff who worked so hard on this case.”