TV wildlife expert Safari Pete escapes jail for Highbury pub attack
TELEVISION wildlife expert Safari Pete has been spared jail for kicking a man’s head “like a football” in a bar brawl over his girlfriend.
Peter Prodromou, 28, who appears on Paul O’Grady’s Channel 4 talk show, left 53-year-old Alan Britton with multiple facial fractures in the attack outside the Highbury Barn pub, in Highbury Park, Highbury.
Mr Britton is still suffering double vision and has difficulty chewing almost a year later.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard he also has potentially permanent hearing loss in one ear.
Prodromou admitted going over the top after Mr Britton, who had been drinking all afternoon, ran out of the pub with his fists up shouting “come and take me on” in June last year.
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The animal expert felled Mr Britton with one punch then kicked him in the side of the face, said
Patrick Mullen, prosecuting.
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Referring to the account of one witness the barrister said: “It was as if he was kicking a football very forcefully”.
Prodromou was said to have become “immediately upset” after realising he had “gone too far”.
He was due to stand trial for grievous bodily harm with intent in December but admitted a lesser charge after Judge Deva Pillay indicated he would not jail him.
Dafna Spiro, defending, said Prodromou had been involved in a “silly dispute” with the pub landlord and another man earlier that day.
She said: “It arose because an insult had been made to the barmaid who Mr Prodromou at the time had been in a relationship with.”
The argument had “nothing to do” with Mr Britton and “had been resolved” when he got involved.
Ms Spiro said: “The defendant accepts that he may have overreacted in kicking Britton.
“He is a very caring and considerate person and this was an isolated incident, entirely out of character for him.
“Clearly he is concerned this conviction is going to have an impact on his commercial work, his work in television, proposed projects in America, and also in schools.”
Judge Pillay described the circumstances of the assault as “somewhat exceptional” as he handed him a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years.
He said: “Ordinarily, anyone who perpetrates the kind of violence you committed that night must expect to go to prison for a substantial period of time.
“It is accepted that Mr Britton had no business getting involved in this part of the dispute.
“I accept your basis of plea, confirmed by some of the independent witnesses, that Mr Britton approached you aggressively and in a threatening manner and that you apprehended that he was about to assault you.
“You were seen to attack him whilst he was on the ground and defenceless.
“This part of the attack was wholly and utterly unjustified.
“However, taking into account all the circumstances, in my view the sentence I pass can be suspended.”
The judge ordered him to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work and imposed a 90-day curfew and tag between 9pm and 6am.
He will also have to pay the victim �1,000 compensation and �1,000 towards prosecution costs.
Prodromou, of Stradbroke Road, Stoke Newington, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm.
He denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent which the prosecution asked to lie on the court file.