Man faces 10 year sentence after  Melbourne Cup brawl

A Melbourne Cup brawl outside a Stockton pub has left one man without an eye and another facing up to 10 years’ jail.

Christopher Gary West, 23, was due to face a trial today charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent after he repeatedly punched Grant Holbrow on November 1 last year.

But West instead admitted to recklessly causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Holbrow, a plea that was accepted by Crown prosecutor Peter Barnett, SC.

The back-up charge carries a maximum 10 years’ imprisonment, compared to a maximum 25 years for the intent charge.

Newcastle District Court Judge Deborah Payne ordered a pre-sentence report on West.

West and Mr Holbrow had been at the Gladstone Hotel during Melbourne Cup festivities before a brawl erupted around the corner from the pub.

Mr Holbrow received multiple facial fractures in the attack, including to both eye sockets and cheekbone.

Doctors were also forced to move his left eye.

Mr Holbrow was in court yesterday to hear his attacker admit to causing the injuries.

West, of Queen Street, Stockton, will reappear in Newcastle District Court on November 22.

As part of the sentencing proceedings next month, it is expected that closed circuit television footage of the attack will be released to the court.

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