Man sentenced with GBH after fracturing Exeter student’s skull

It happened outside Unit 1 this summer

A man has admitted to causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) after hitting an Exeter student and fracturing his skull outside Unit 1 this summer.

On the 5th of June, Luke Clarkson was involved in a fracas which resulted in him suffering a blow to the head. The student fractured his skull on Sumerland Street, outside one of Exeter’s most popular nightclubs.

Clarkson and a group of his friends had been involved in a clash with another group inside Unit 1, formally known as Arena, and it is believed that his injuries are a result of that. Following the event, the student required extra help from the university to complete his exams.

25-year-old builder, Justin Ware, admitted grievously bodily harm to the student and was sentenced to a year in jail. His sentence was suspended by two years and Ware was ordered to do over 200 hours of unpaid community work. He was also ordered to cover £480 in costs and £500 in compensation.

The case was discussed in Exeter Crown Court with recorder Mr Kevin de Haan, QC, highlighting the severity of head injuries. A great deal of emphasis was also made of the alcohol consumption of the parties on the night. It was noted that whilst Ware was responsible for the blow to Clarkson’s head, intoxicated Clarkson did also bears some responsibility.

Following the incident Ware wrote a personal apology to Clarkson, expressing his remorse and apologising.

Exeter Crown Court

Exeter Crown Court

Addressing Mr Ware, Mr Haan, QC, said: “You could be here facing manslaughter charges if Mr Clarkson had died. The charges you face are serious, but not as serious as they might have been.

“This is a very serious case because your actions resulted in Mr Clarkson falling and sustaining what could have been life threatening and which is going to impact on his well being and potentially on his academic future for some time to come.

“You are genuinely remorseful and this was entirely out of character and, this apart, you are an decent, hard working, family man who looks after his family very well.”

Ware has stopped going out drinking with his peer group and now concentrates on looking after his partner and one-year-old child.

He told the officer ‘Nothing would be enough to make up for my actions’.