‘Violent drunken bully’ jailed for attack in Bury St Edmunds pub

Thomas Willsher, 30, has been jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to unlawful wounding with intent ANL-141014-095250001
Thomas Willsher, 30, has been jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to unlawful wounding with intent ANL-141014-095250001
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A man branded by a judge as a “violent drunken bully” has been jailed for carrying out an attack inside a Bury St Edmunds pub.

Thomas Willsher, 30, had told his victim that he was trying to test whether people with Aspergers can show emotion.

After goading Terry Ebbens who was drinking at the Kings Arms on May 18, Willsher struck him on the head with two different glasses and then punched him in the head twice.

Prosecuting, Michael Crimp today told Ipswich Crown Court that Mr Ebbens, who had Aspergers, had been introduced to Willsher by a mutual friend and had previously never met.

In a statement to police Mr Ebbens, who said he disliked confrontation, said: “He was persistently trying to wind me up.”

Mr Crimp said that Mr Ebbens had added: “He said I did not have Aspergers as he could tell I was becoming angry.”

Mr Ebbens asked Willsher to leave him alone but instead he launched a violent attack, striking Mr Ebbens on the head with a heavy glass tankard which failed to shatter and then picking up another glass and repeating the blow, causing a cut to the head when the glass broke.

Willsher then punched Mr Evans twice on the side of the head.

A member of staff managed to get between Mr Ebbens, who had not responded and was cowering, and Willsher who was told to get out of the pub which he did, said Mr Crimp. Mr Ebbens required three stitches to a cut on his head.

When arrested an interviewed, Willsher admitted carrying out the attack but claimed he had feared that Mr Ebbens was about to assault him.

Willsher, of Ashwell Road, Bury St Edmunds, said: “I was quite drunk. I wouldn’t say I was absolutely hammered but I was quite drunk.

“I feel bad, very bad. I just hope I hadn’t hurt the person.”

Mitigating, Declan Gallagher said Willsher, who works in the construction industry, wanted to apologise to his victim and had expressed considerable remorse.

Mr Gallagher said: “There is no doubt that alcohol was a significant factor.

“While he accepts that he has been abusing alcohol for some time it has not led to offending behaviour of this type.”

Willsher had gone drinking after taking prescribed medication which meant he was acting entirely out of character, said Mr Gallagher.

Jailing him for 20 months, Judge Rupert Overbury told Willsher: “It is plain to me that your character is usually one of someone who works hard and who is honest and who considers others before himself.

“On this particular occasion you, having taken prescription medication, then choose to mix it with alcohol.

“Mixing prescription medication with alcohol is a very dangerous combination.”

Judge Overbury told Willsher, who had pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding with intent: “You were a drunken bully to someone who was plainly vulnerable.”