EXCLUSIVE: Father-of-10 spared prison months before March pub attack left 61-year-old fighting for life

A VIOLENT man who was jailed for an attack which left a 61-year-old fighting for life had previously been spared prison because he was a father to 10 children.

Patrick Beart, 43, walked free from Cambridge Crown Court in October last year despite pleading guilty to attacking a mother in front of her screaming child outside Wisbech Jobcentre. He was given 150 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month supervision order.

But judge Anthony Bate told him: “You are saved in part from prison by the fact you play a role in bringing up 10 children.”

He had previously been found guilty of sexual activity with a child and sexual assault on a girl under the age of 13.

But, just five months after his reprieve, Beart attacked 61-year-old Chris Taylor as he was celebrating St Patrick’s Day in the Coachmakers Arms, in March.

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Beart, of Truman Avenue, March, punched his victim with such force that he fell backwards and hit his head on the concrete rail below the bar. It caused Mr Taylor to have a heart attack and he stopped breathing.

An off-duty doctor, who was also in the pub, gave Mr Taylor CPR before he was taken to hospital where staff worked to save his life.

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He woke up the next day with a wound to his head, bruising around his face and two broken bones in his leg – caused by a stamp.

Beart was jailed for two years after admitting causing grievous bodily harm without intent. He must serve an additional two months for breaking his suspended sentence.

Det Sgt Paul Stimpson called the incident a “nasty unprovoked attack on an innocent member of the public”.

He said: “The victim has been left with lasting injuries to his leg, he needs a stick to walk and has not worked since the incident.

“This case shows how just one punch can devastate lives.”

• MR Taylor spent two weeks in hospital recovering from the attack. He was confined to a wheelchair and unable to leave his home for a further three months.

Seven months after the incident, Mr Taylor is still walking with crutches. He has two steel pins in his leg and he has been forced into retirement.

Mr Taylor said: “I was out to enjoy myself on St Patrick’s night. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I woke up the next day and I was in hospital with a policeman sat next to me.

“I was so lucky that the off-duty doctor was in the pub. I’ve met up with him since and bought him a pint. I simply said: ‘thanks for saving my life.’”

Of Beart, he said: “At the time he did this to me he should not have been walking the streets. He should have been jailed over a year ago.

“It’s wrong but that’s the country for you these days. There is no respect for law and order.

“It does make me angry but I’m trying not to dwell on it. He’s a bully, a cowardly bully.”

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