A MAN was told he was lucky not to be sent down for manslaughter after he was jailed for knocking a man out cold in a punch-up outside a petrol station.

Gary Cresswell, of Sandringham Way, Calcot, left the man unconscious after knocking him out and the victim would not wake up for another two weeks after he went into a coma.

At one point during his treatment at the John Radcliffe Hospital, the victim’s partner was told it was ‘50/50’ as to whether he would wake up.

Fortunately, the victim did come around, but he was only discharged from hospital last month and he now suffers from short-term memory problems and needs a walking frame to get around.

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Sentencing him to 32 months imprisonment, Her Honour Judge Campbell told Cresswell he was ‘fortunate’ the victim did not die as he would be facing a manslaughter charge.

The brawl came about after Cresswell and his colleagues were arguing with shopkeepers at BP Petrol Station on Oxford Road on the evening of August 10, 2021.

Another customer – the victim – defended the shopkeepers and made some comments about Cresswell’s behaviour.

Noticing the group were scaffolders, the man allegedly said scaffolders were ‘all the same’ and that he ‘would not hire them’ for scaffolding work at his property.


BP Petrol station on Oxford Road. Image via Google

BP Petrol station on Oxford Road. Image via Google


A court heard how after he left, Cresswell, 31, was held back by his colleagues who told him ‘don’t do anything on camera’.

After a brief pause Cresswell, who set up the scaffolding company he works for, exited the petrol station forecourt and shouted ‘wait, wait’ to the man before catching up with him around the corner on Oxford Road.

Shocking CCTV footage shown to the court caught the moment Cresswell punched the man – who was holding his hands up -- in the face.

The blow made the man collapse and he was knocked unconscious.

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Cresswell then scampered away and fled in a black BMW with his colleagues before the victim was cared for by first responders.

He was later taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital by air ambulance.

Scans showed the victim had two skull fractures, a bleed on the brain, swelling and bruising to an eye socket.

Prosecutor Simon Wilshere read a statement from the victim’s partner about his condition following the attack.

She said he has suffered from short-term memory loss since waking up, including repeating conversations and forgetting the ages of his children.

He asked his partner for the keys to his Porsche despite not owning a Porsche nor being someone who drives.

The victim said he does not remember the attack and now has to use a walking frame to get around.

His partner said: “This attack has changed his whole life.

“He has told me how hard he finds it that his brain doesn’t work like he wants it to. He says he feels like he has let us down.

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“I have told him he did nothing wrong but I don’t accept that.

“Everything at home has been hard without him. He was the life and soul of this house and he was always singing and dancing.

“He is making a good recovery but we still do not know what the future holds.”

Defending, Divya Puri claimed the victim’s comments about Cresswell were ‘provocative.’

She said: “He accepts he lost his temper and threw a punch. He could not have foreseen these injuries.

“He is deeply remorseful of the impact this has had on the victim.”

Ms Puri said the attack was “random”, “short-lived” and “out-of-character” for the father-of-two, who has 20 convictions for 30 offences including battery and actual bodily harm.

Sentencing, Her Honour Judge Campbell said Cresswell was “fortunate he is not facing a manslaughter charge.”

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She added: “This was an appalling single attack of gratuitous violence that could have resulted in the victim’s death.

“You felt belittled by him and your reaction was to try and teach him a lesson.

“I do not accept you had no intention to harm him but I accept what happened was not foreseen by you.

“It was a short-lived attack because it was one punch but that no doubt because of the force of the blow.

“The consequences of your actions have been life-changing.”

Judge Campbell sentenced Cresswell to 32 months imprisonment after he admitted to one count of wounding without intent. He will serve half of this sentence in custody before being eligible for release.

Cresswell appeared for his sentencing at Reading Crown Court on Monday, October 4 via live video link from HMP Bullingdon.

After being handed his sentence, Cresswell muttered “f*** sake”.