South East Wales

Wales' Strongest Man Nathan Szuchnik jailed for attack

Nathan Szuchnik Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The court heard Nathan Szuchnik would lose his job at a housing association if he was jailed

A champion weightlifter has been jailed after he attacked his next door neighbours just three months after being crowned Wales' Strongest Man.

Nathan Szuchnik kicked and stamped on victim Mark Burnham and grabbed and pushed his girlfriend Katherine Stokes over, Newport Crown Court heard.

The 32-year-old of Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by beating.

He was jailed for 10 months.

Szuchnik, the Welsh dumbbell record holder, and his partner Natalie Roberts, 31 - herself Wales' Strongest Woman title holder - invited the couple back to their home for a drink after walking home together from Rhoose Social Club last July.

But the court heard Szuchnik's "attitude changed" and he went upstairs to bed, leading to his guests to promptly leave.

Prosecutor Peter Donnison said: "After his neighbours returned to their home they heard a lot of banging and crashing.

"Miss Stokes went back to see if everything was alright. At Szuchnik's door she saw him shouting 'Why did you invite them into the house?'"

The court heard he then grabbed Miss Stokes and pushed her to the side before throwing punches at Mr Burnham.

"The men went into Mr Burnham's house. While on the ground Szuchnik grabbed him by his hair and kicked and stamped on his head," said Mr Donnison.

"Mr Burnham thought he was going to be killed."

'No excuses'

Szuchnik then threw Miss Stokes into the driveway after she and his partner tried to pull him from Mr Burnham.

Mr Burnham was left with bruising to his arm and hip, grazing to his leg, and bruised ribs while Miss Stokes was left with a bruised upper arm.

Judge Jonathan Furness QC said Szuchnik had "no excuses" for the violent attack.

"This was an innocent couple you met for a pleasant drink, which ended up back at your home where they were assaulted," he added.

"Mr Burnham was stamped and kicked upon. It's fortunate his and Miss Stokes' injuries were not more serious than they actually were."

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