A MAN has been jailed after he punched a pensioner in the face leaving him disfigured and with a fractured eye socket following a drunken attack at a Prestatyn caravan park.

Appearing at Mold Crown Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of GBH without intent, Paul Leo O'Brien, aged 43, sat with his head bowed as the court heard how he knocked 72-year-old Eugene Patrick McGough to the ground with a single punch, during an argument between the occupants of neighbouring caravans at Presthaven Sands, near Prestatyn.

Frances Willmott, prosecuting, said Mr McGough and his wife had been arguing with a family in a nearby caravan over noise on the Presthaven site in Flintshire on May 5 and into the early hours of May 6, when the assault took place.

Rhyl Journal:

Jailed: Paul Leo O'Brien. Picture: North Wales Police

Site security had already been contacted once previously when at around 4am Mr McGough was confronted by "a blonde woman" who was "standing in his face and shouting abuse".

She was heard to shout "get him Paul" after which O'Brien, who had been asleep after a bout of heavy drinking, emerged from their caravan and after evading a security guard, punched the elder man in the face leaving what the guard described in his witness statement as "a dent in the side of his face".

Following the fracas, O'Brien, of Bridgeman Street, Farnworth, Bolton, continued to make threats until police officers arrived and he was arrested.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by Ms Willmott, Mr McGough, who is retired and in poor health following heart problems, said he had been unable to talk properly and could only eat liquefied food after the incident which had also led to a deformity of his cheek bone as it was deemed to much of a risk to operate on.

James Coutts, defending, said the incident had "a massive financial impact" on O'Brien and his family and they had been forced to relocate to a different caravan park which had also caused distress to their 13-year-old son who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Mr Coutts said: "He (O'Brien) is a caring, loving, family man who does a lot of good work for charity and has never had a fight before in his life.

"He is deeply ashamed of his behaviour, shows genuine remorse and is terrified about a custodial sentence."

Sentencing O'Brien to 10 months imprisonment, Judge Rhys Rowlands, said: "This was a cowardly, drunken attack on an elderly gentleman who was in no position to defend himself."