A man who fractured a fellow bar-goer’s skull in a drunken, “pointless” and unprovoked attack in York city centre has been jailed for 20 months.
Leon Savastio, 26, was on bail at the time of the “one-punch” incident after breaking a man’s jaw man in a separate street attack in Acomb four months previously, York Crown Court heard.
The incident in the city centre which left the man needing hospital treatment for a fractured skull occurred outside the Turtle Bay bar in Little Stonegate at about 7pm on 13 March.
Prosecutor Brooke Morrison said the named victim, who had been drinking with friends, was stood outside the bar, having a cigarette, when he struck up a perfectly innocuous conversation with Savastio, a gym-going, musclebound man.
Suddenly and without warning, Savastio slugged him with a punch to the head so hard that the victim fell straight to the ground, out cold.
Ms Morrison said the victim only came round as he was being driven to hospital in an ambulance.
“CCTV showed that after leaving the Turtle Bay bar, the victim was stood outside smoking and talking to the defendant,” added Ms Morrison.
“Savastio punched him once to the head all of a sudden and walked away and left the victim on the floor unconscious.”
The victim – who was lying motionless on the ground as Savastio made off – suffered a fractured skull, internal bleeding and bruising to the brain. He needed urgent hospital care.
He said had constant headaches for weeks after the incident and felt “dizzy and worn out”.
“My mum and dad had to help bathe me and I couldn’t drive,” he added.
He had to take two weeks off work but had since made a full recovery.
Police scanned CCTV footage of the incident and identified Savastio, who has a track record for violence. He was arrested in August and brought in for questioning but refused to answer police questions.
Savastio had been on bail at the time of the incident after attacking a man in Acomb.
The named victim and his two friends were walking along Acomb Road at about 11.30pm on 7 November last year when they were approached by Savastio, who asked each one of them in turn if they had a cigarette.
When the victim, who was the last to be asked, said no, Savastio punched him in the face and left him bleeding in the street.
They called police who took the victim to hospital where he received treatment for a fractured jaw, cut lip and two broken and displaced front teeth which required a dental splint, crown replacement and root-canal surgery.
Savastio, of White House Rise, York, was arrested three days later but denied that he was the attacker.
He was released on bail and remained at large until the attack on the second man in the city centre. He ultimately admitted causing grievous bodily harm to the man outside the bar and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to the victim in Acomb.
He appeared for sentence today (Tuesday, November 1) after being remanded in custody.
The court heard he had three previous convictions for four offences including ABH in 2017 and two counts of battery from February this year when he was given a community order. He was still subject to that order when he attacked the man in Little Stonegate.
Savastio, a father-of-one, had also managed to add a criminal-damage conviction to his rap sheet in March.
Defence barrister Lily Wildman conceded that the attacks on the two men were “extremely pointless assaults”.
She said there had been a pattern of offending by Savastio in recent years “when the defendant drinks to excess”.
Recorder Paul Reid described the attacks as “two utterly pointless, completely unprovoked assaults” resulting in “grave” injuries.
He told Savastio he had a “bad record for violence” and had sought to blame others in the past for violence that he had meted out.
He added: “I know that you spend a considerable amount of your leisure time in the gym which might explain… the level of force used when you struck this man (outside the bar).
“He suffered an injury which was potentially life-threatening from which he fortunately made a complete recovery (but) it’s perfectly clear…that this was traumatic (for him).
“This sort of street violence for no reason whatsoever can only be met with an immediate custodial sentence.”
Savastio was given a 20-month jail sentence, of which he will serve half behind bars before being released on prison licence.