Chippenham property developer spared jail after breaking man's cheekbone (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Chippenham property developer spared jail after breaking man's cheekbone
A property developer who left a neighbouring landowner with a broken cheekbone in a row over a party wall has escaped a jail term.
Justin King turned to violence after the disagreement with fellow developer Peter Cavaciuti grew out of proportion.
With one punch the 42-year-old caused the fracture to his victim, who has been left permanently disfigured.
King, of The Green, Christian Malford, pleaded not guilty to a charge of grievous bodily harm but was convicted by a jury following a trial at Swindon Crown Court.
They heard how he and Mr Cavaciuti fell out over the wall between the neighbouring developments they had on Ladds Lane, Chippenham.
On Friday November 25 last year they were each at their land when the subject of the party wall came up.
The victim had again suggested that a formal agreement was necessary but King lost his temper and landed the hefty blow.
Although he threw a second punch it was just a glancing blow catching the victim to the forehead.
As a result of the first punch Mr Cavaciuti suffered the broken cheekbone which in normal circumstances would have been operated on and a metal plate inserted in his jaw.
But as he has a transplanted kidney, the risks of infection were so high that it was deemed too dangerous.
In a victim impact statement Mr Cavaciuti said that he had a permanent facial injury and misalignment of the jaw.
Mike Pulsford, defending, said his client was a father-of-two who had never been in any sort of trouble before.
While the case clearly crossed the custody threshold, he said were a suspended sentence passed he would be able to pay compensation.
Mr Pulsford said although the injury was a serious one it was essentially caused by one punch in an incident which was not premeditated.
Mr Pulsford said his client had been involved, along with his brother, in renovating the property and building another.
At the moment he was out of work, having been made redundant in the summer, and had his feelers out looking for a new job in the building trade.
Passing sentence Judge Euan Ambrose said: “The background to it was a long running dispute between you and Peter Cavaciuti. You are a property developer, at least you were, as is Mr Cavaciuti.
“You each own land that adjoin one another and there had been a long running dispute or issue between you over a party wall agreement. It was the sort of small issue that over time assumed proportions that it didn’t deserve.
“On November 25 last year you and he were both on site. He was reiterating to you the need for such an agreement.
“You saw only an obstacle in the way of developing your property, you lost your temper and you punched him. That punch broke his cheekbone.
“This was for all intents and purposes a punch in the context of an argument in which you lost your temper causing a significant injury to him. And the evidence was strong.
“Despite the evidence you fought and lost a trial and I must now sentence you.”
He imposed a 12 month jail term suspended for two years and told him to complete 300 hours of unpaid work. He ordered he pay £5,000 compensation and £1,800 costs.