A West Cumbrian rugby player has been jailed after a court heard how he attacked a man in a Whitehaven bar, leaving him with an appalling facial injury.

Gordon Maudling, 29, who is said to be powerfully built, struck his victim Christopher Whitelock twice in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head against a table. 

He admitted an assault causing actual bodily harm and possessing cocaine.

Judge Nicholas Barker said what happened was “extreme violence.”

It happened at Whitehaven’s Generations Bar in New Street on January 19, Carlisle Crown Court was told. The two men had encountered each other earlier in the evening, and Maudling’s defence barrister Kim Whittlestone said the victim ‘goaded’ the defendant.

She handed in references for the defendant and said the defendant was remorseful.

Jailing Maudling, of Dalegarth Avenue, Whitehaven, for nine months, the judge said it was apparent that the defendant had a problem with alcohol and he could be described as a “binge drinker.”

The judge noted how Maudling had been given a suspended prison sentence in 2014 for earlier violence.

Judge Barker said: “You have not learned your lesson and not moderated your behaviour in terms of alcohol and in terms of your violence.”

In those circumstances, only an immediate prison sentence was appropriate. Even if there had been goading, that did not excuse his behaviour, added the judge.