Punched stranger in the head nine times

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A New Mills man assaulted a stranger in a late-night attack, a court heard.

Nathan Myerscough had been out with friends on April 4, spending the evening in the Beehive pub in New Mills, prosecutor John Cooper said. As he and his friends were walking to a nearby takeaway in the early hours of the next morning, they saw a man they didn’t know walking across the road towards them.

The man, Benjamin Thomas Reilly, then began punching Mr Myerscough repeatedly before kicking him in the head while he was on the ground, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard.

Mr Myerscough suffered a broken nose, swelling to his left eye and cheek, and lumps on his head. CCTV showed he had been punched nine times.

Reilly, 28, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Lisa Tinsley, defending, said: “In terms of this incident it is difficult to understand how it came about when there was one individual and a group of people who didn’t know each other and have passed in the street. Obviously when you add in the presence of alcohol things get confused. It appears to have been a case of mistaken identity.

“One of the witnesses believed my client to be somebody else and that is why he started a conversation with him.”

She added: “Mr Reilly was punched by the complainant first. He then accepts that he goes way over the top in response to that.

“In interview he showed remorse. He hadn’t meant for it to get as out of hand as it did.”

Reilly was due to be sentenced yesterday (Wednesday).