A FATHER has been jailed for his part in a Hereford fight  which left one man with a fractured skull.

Daniel Pountney, from Longmeadow, Hinton, Hereford, was sentenced to 28 months in prison after he started a fight in Yates's on Commercial Road.

Pountney this week admitted two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court. He had earlier pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by beating at Hereford Magistrates Court.

Worcester Crown Court heard on Tuesday how Pountney was on the dance floor when he danced into Jason Craddock, who put his hands up to stop the 22-year-old from falling on him.

Jennifer Josephs, prosecuting, said that Pountney took offence at this and head-butted Mr Craddock.

CCTV footage showed Pountney and his friends and co-accused Gareth Smith and David Rumball outside the venue chasing and hitting Mr Craddock, who was left with severe bruising to the face, arm and neck.

Smith and Rumball both admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and destroying or damaging property, which relates to £1,353 of damage that was caused to a taxi during the disturbance on August 15 last year.

During the disorder, Pountney - who had drunk eight pints of lager and several vodkas - punched bystander Luke Beddoes in the face as he was on the phone to the police, causing Mr Beddows to fall and fracture his skull.

Ms Josephs said Mr Beddoes was "lucky to survive the night".

She said: "He said that he is lucky he wasn't paralysed or killed and said it was likely down to his fitness that he survived. He says he is in constant pain from the bleed on the brain and struggles to stay awake and concentrate on his university studies."

John Dyer, defending Pountney, said that he was "sorry and disgusted" about what he had done.

"Mr Pountney is thoroughly decent when he's not drinking. He has responsibilities, he has a baby girl and he's done various apprenticeships. He is sorry for what he did," he said.

Derek Perry, defending Smith, of Weobley Close, Newton Farm, Hereford, and Rumball, of Attlee Close, Moorfields, Hereford, urged Judge Toby Hooper QC to consider community orders in their cases as he they were "both unlikely to offend again."

Judge Hooper sentenced Smith, 22, and Rumball, 23, to six months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and 150 hours of unpaid work, as well as imposing curfews on them both.

He said: "I must reject the proper suggestion for community orders. The public are entitled to know that you both were involved in a most appalling outbreak of public disorder."