A MAN who carried out a Chester city centre assault jumped into a canal in a bid to escape, a court heard.
But Jordan Hughes was tracked using CCTV cameras and was eventually caught soaking wet by police.
Chester Crown Court heard yesterday how Hughes, 21, had earlier punched a man about four times in the Foregate Street area of the city centre.
The incident happened in the early hours of October 13 last year.
Hughes, a chef of Hill View Road, Llanrhos, admitted assault but insisted the reason he had stepped in initially was to protect another person.
The court heard the man Hughes hit had been carrying out an assault himself. Hughes had intervened.
The defendant also admitted possessing cocaine, which Judge Roger Dutton described as a small quantity.
The fight had been captured on CCTV cameras. However, Brett Williamson, prosecuting, said the footage could not be played as the equipment was not working.
Judge Dutton asked : “What is the point of CCTV evidence which does not work?”
The judge said he had been on a course in London where the CCTV was not operational.
“If it is not working there we don’t have much of a chance in Chester do we,” Judge Dutton said.
Mr Williamson said after the assault Hughes fled the scene but was tracked by CCTV operators.
As part of his attempt to flee he “jumped into a canal and got across soaking wet”.
After being caught by police Hughes’ clothes were dried out and an empty wrap of cocaine was discovered.
Mr Williamson said Hughes’ victim suffered blood running from his nose as a result of the attack.
The victim had not made a complaint to the police.
At the scene the victim was aggressive and abusive to ambulance staff who were trying to assist him. He had to be handcuffed and strapped down after lashing out.
He would not confirm his identity details and discharged himself from hospital against medical advice.
Nicholas Williams, defending, outlined Hughes’ actions.
Mr Williams said: “He went there because he saw a man being assaulted.”
The victim grabbed Hughes. Mr Williams said Hughes accepted his actions went beyond reasonable defence.
“He is from a good family. He lives at home with his mother and father,” said Mr Williams.
“He has asked his family not to come here today. He is very hard working and has trained as a professional chef, losing his job because of his arrest.
“He was in the cells when he was supposed to be in work.”
Judge Dutton said an intake of alcohol interfered with Hughes’ judgement and the situation got out of control.
“You went over the top, as you realise,” said Judge Dutton.
Hughes was given a 12-month community order with a thinking skills programme and 150 hours voluntary work for the community, together with a statutory surcharge.