A thug who knocked a dog-walking pensioner unconscious in a park after accusing of him being a paedophile has escaped a jail sentence.
Francis Chapman, 29, of Ridgeway Walk, Top Valley, Nottingham, attacked the 69-year-old man in Bulwell Bogs Park in June of last year.
The victim has been filming a video of his own walk when Chapman began shouting at him.
Moments later, Chapman vaulted a small fence and punched the man to the side of the head, knocking him unconscious.
Chapman was then heard attempting to explain his actions by accusing the elderly man, lying unconscious on the ground, of being a ‘pervert’ who was filming children.
The victim was unconscious for a considerable period of time and recalled only waking up in hospital.
As well as a concussion, he suffered severe facial bruising and cuts to his cheek.
Appearing at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court this week, Chapman admitted a charge of actual bodily harm.
PC Sam Tomlinson said: “The attack was an impulsive, violent act based on a completely false accusation. Not only did Chapman decide to take the law into his own hands but he attacked a completely innocent man. All of our work around this case has shown that the victim was absolutely not filming children. He is an innocent man who did nothing to warrant Chapman’s actions.
“The attack has had a profound effect on the victim. As well as the physical injuries, he has suffered panic attacks and was scared to return to the park.
“We hope that today’s sentencing can give him some comfort.”
As the victim was filming at the time of the assault, Chapman was recorded on camera. This footage was released to the public in the hope the offender could be identified and officers were delighted with the public’s response.
PC Tomlinson said: “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their response to the appeal. Without the appeal and the information which came from it, it is fair to say we may have been unable to identify Chapman.”
Chapman received a 12-month community order.