A WOMAN'S current boyfriend broke her ex's cheekbone in multiple places with a single punch because he thought he had been talking about ‘me and my missus’.

Jack Richardson punched Brandon Maskell in the face in the car park at McDonald’s in Blackpole, Worcester, breaking his cheekbone so badly he required surgery and could not eat solid food for more than a week.

The 21-year-old of Goodrest Walk, Worcester, admitted section 20 grievous bodily harm when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

Lal Amarasinghe, prosecuting, said the background to the offence was Mr Maskell had previously been in a relationship with Richardson’s partner and she had been pregnant and lost a child.

Mr Amarasinghe said Richardson had already punched Mr Maskell which caused reddening to the bridge of his nose, a matter which went unreported to police, before the incident on January 31 this year at around 11pm.

He said Richardson had approached Mr Maskell’s car in the McDonald's car park, asking to speak to him. Another male tried to step between them. “He swung a single blow which struck his cheek area, causing Mr Maskell to drop to his knees” said Mr Amarasinghe.

Mr Maskell described feeling ‘severe pain’ to the left hand side of his face and he was taken to hospital where he was assessed and received an x-ray.

“It was found he had multiple fractures to his cheek” said Mr Amarasinghe. Mr Maskell had to have an operation on February 9 and two metal rods were inserted into his face. As a result of his injuries he could not eat solid food for eight days and required three weeks off work the court heard.

In police interview, conducted without a solicitor on February 1 this year, Richardson told officers he had asked Mr Maskell: “Why do you think it’s okay to speak about me and my missus?”

The defendant accepted he got angry and struck the complainant once. In the sentencing guidelines Mr Amarasinghe argued that the offence was one of greater harm but lesser culpability.

A probation officer interviewed Richardson and told the court the defendant’s answers had ‘a very adolescent feel’. Richardson had known the victim for a few years.

Judith Kenney, defending, asked that Richardson be given maximum credit for his early guilty plea which she said had been indicated at the magistrates court.

Judge Jim Tindal said the injuries caused had had ‘a significant impact on the victim of this case’ but balanced this against Richardson’s early guilty plea and the fact that he had never been in trouble before.

Judge Tindal imposed a 12 month community order which will include 200 hours of unpaid work.

He also sentenced Richardson to an electronically monitored curfew which will last for two months and be active between 7pm and 7am daily. Because Richardson had no means and is being supported by his parents judge Tindal decided it was not an appropriate case for the award of compensation to the victim, telling Richardson: "It would just be your parents paying."

He imposed a restraining order for three years which prevents Richardson having any contact with the victim. Richardson must pay £100 costs.