Pub chef who punched his boss six times in smoking shelter after work row escalated avoids jail
A pub chef who punched his boss in the head repeatedly in an "explosive" outburst after a stand-up row with a colleague spilled over has received a suspended sentence.
Sous chef Jed Robertson, 28, got into an argument with one of his colleagues at the Raven Inn in Welshpool last May and it turned ugly after the pub's owner was called in to mediate.
In the physical assault that followed director David Laycock was punched at least six times by Robertson, leaving him with a bloody eye and pain across his head and upper body for weeks.
Mr Laycock wrestled Robertson to the floor and waited for him to calm down. The chef was told to collect his things and leave as soon as the dust had settled, to which he replied: "You can keep your f***ing job."
He later pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Laycock occasioning actual bodily harm, and was summoned to Mold Crown Court today to be sentenced.
The court heard from prosecutor Mr Karl Scholz that Mr Laycock was the director of several pubs including the Raven, and he was called there at 4pm on May 22 2022 because Robertson and colleague Shannon Shane were arguing.
It was not the first time there had been "issues" between the two, said Mr Scholz, and Mr Laycock travelled to the Raven to try and calm them down after a customer complained about hearing "strong language".
"Not for the first time, he took them to one side and started to ascertain from each in turn what the problem was," said Mr Scholz.
Taking them out to a smoking shelter, he asked first Robertson and then Miss Stone what the issue was.
He noted Robertson was "agitated and aggressive" and that he began interrupting Miss Stone when she was speaking, causing Mr Laycock to ask him to stop.
The second time he asked him, Robertson responded by suddenly attacking his boss "without any warning".
"The defendant punched Mr Laycock in the eye and about the head and chest a number of times.
"He claims a total of six punches were thrown. Mr Laycock managed to get a hold of the defendant. He wrestled him to the ground.
"Once he had calmed down they both got up. He helped the defendant find his glasses, then told him he would have to collect his things and leave."
Robertson swore at him as he gathered his knives and personal effects, telling him: "You can keep your f***ing job."
Mr Laycock was left with injuries to his right eye and left ear, plus pains to the head, body and back. He took pain medication for some weeks afterwards and went to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital fearing broken ribs, but no injuries were found with an x-ray.
Appearing for Robertson, Jemma Gordon told the court that he is due to move and start a new job in Devon soon.
Judge Rhys Reynolds castigated Robertson for his "pretty explosive loss of temper" and said the attack was aggravated by the fact it was on his employer and in his workplace.
He said that he could spare Robertson an immediate jail sentence "with some initial misgivings" and imposed a suspended sentence of 30 weeks, suspended for 12 months.
Robertson, previously of The High Road in South Shields, was also ordered to pay prosecution costs and £500 in compensation to Mr Laycock.