A decorator has been found guilty of assaulting a friend who ‘tangoed’ him during a drunken late night encounter.
Paul Village claimed he was acting in self defence when he laid out Keith Iszard with a single punch but a jury decided that he over reacted to the Morecambe and Wise style double face slap.
Garage owner Mr Iszard, aged 59, suffered brain injuries after falling unconscious on the pavement in The Strand in Brixham during the confrontation in October.
Village, aged 47, of Lonsee Gardens, Kingskerswell, who was living at Fern Close, Brixham at the time, denied causing grievous bodily harm but was found guilty at Exeter Crown Court.
During a three day trial witnesses told how they saw Village face to face with Mr Iszard in the doorway of the I Scream ice cream shop in the Strand in Brixham.
At first they were talking amicably but then one was seen to deliver a Tango-style face slap and shortly afterwards Village felled the victim with a single heavy punch.
Mr Iszard is a well known figure around Brixham, where he was a regular customer in the Rugby Club and various pubs.
On the night of the attack he had started drinking at the Rugby Club and had three or four club doubles of vodka and coke before moving on to the Blue Anchor.
He left the pub at closing time and was waiting for a taxi outside when Village walked past and they started talking.
Village said he was a painter and decorator who had spent the night at the Rising Sun, talking and playing darts with friends and family and had drunk three pints and three double vodka and cokes.
He was walking to a friend’s house with a Budweiser carry-out when he came across Mr Iszard, who he said was an old friend.
He claimed there was no animosity between them until Mr Iszard clapped him hard around both sides of his face in a Tango-style attack.
He said Mr Iszard then swung at him when he remonstrated with him and he caught him a glancing blow as he fended him off.
He said the fall which caused the serious head injury happened when Mr Iszard fell onto the pavement backwards and said he had not knocked him to the ground.
He said:”Keith Tangoed me around the head, clapping his hands on either side of my face. I can’t explain how much force he used but it hurt a lot.
“I asked him what he had done that for and said he was bang out of order. I just did not expect it at all.
“It was only then I realised how drunk he was. He started grinding his teeth and mumbling and then he threw a punch at me. It happened so quick it was unbelievable.
“He assaulted me and threw a punch. He went for my face. I went back and swung round and contacted him. There was not a lot of force in my movement. He ended up falling over in the road.”
Judge Jeremy Griggs adjourned the case for a pre sentence report and warned Village that prison will be considered as a sentencing option.