A FORMER amateur boxer avoided jail after a single punch left his victim with a fractured jaw.

Morgan Tarrant, 19, from Whitchurch, appeared at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday last week for sentencing after pleading guilty to one count of causing grievous bodily harm at a previous hearing.

The court heard Tarrant was out in Whitchurch ringing in the New Year with friends when there was confrontation with another group of people.

Prosecutor, Siobhan Lesley, told the court that at around midnight on January 1 this year, this other group, which included the eventual victim, Archie Casey, was approached by a woman acting aggressively.

Mr Casey stepped in to defuse the situation, when Tarrant pushed him to the ground.

Ms Lesley said: “Mr Casey left the situation and was heading home and had to walk through a residential car park where the defendant was waiting for him with a group of friends.

“He was accused of pulling down the defendant’s girlfriend and punching her.”

The court heard Tarrant grabbed Mr Casey by the “scruff of the neck” before pushing him into a wall and throwing a single punch to the victim’s face.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Casey said he sustained a fractured jaw and has had to have a metal plate inserted there.

Recorder Andrew Barnett stated the incident “escalated completely needlessly” and showed Tarrant to have a “lack of maturity”.

Defending Tarrant, Berenice Mulvanny, said that her client has shown “genuine remorse” for what he had done on that January night.

She added: “Clearly this has impacted on Mr Casey, but it has also impacted my client who has had to put his life on hold to get this matter resolved.”

In sentencing Tarrant, Recorder Barnett said: “New Year’s celebrations had clearly got the better of you.

“There is a good and worthwhile side to you, but it was submerged in rage and you needlessly lashed out.”

Tarrant was sentenced by Recorder Barnett to one year in jail, which was suspended for one year.

He must also carry out 12 rehabilitation activity days and 150 hours of unpaid work as well as paying £2,000 in compensation.