A YOUNG Solihull man hurled a pint glass into another man’s face when he intervened in an argument between his girlfriend and her ex-partner.
But at Warwick Crown Court on Thursday Ashley Howell escaped being jailed for the attack which left his victim needing 25 stitches to his face.
Howell, aged 22, of Barford Road, Shirley, was sentenced to 12 months, suspended for a year, and ordered to pay £870 costs after he pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.
Matthew Brook, prosecuting, said victim Stephen Hayes used to be in a relationship with Abigail Palmer, with whom he had a child, but they split up and she began to go out with Howell.
Last July Mr Hayes went to the Plume of Feathers pub, but when he saw Howell and Abigail he finished his drink and went to another pub to avoid any trouble.
He later returned to the Plume of Feathers, but they were still there, so instead he went to the home of a friend who lived nearby.
But while he was outside his friend’s house Abigail and Howell left the pub and came up the street towards him.
Abigail, who was very drunk, said she wanted to talk to him about the baby, but Mr Hayes pushed her away and then, according to Howell’s ‘basis of plea’, he began to punch her when she went back towards him.
Mr Hayes then remonstrated with Howell, who had taken his drink with him when he left the pub to accompany his girlfriend, for taking the drunken Abigail there.
Howell said he was punched by Mr Hayes and reacted by throwing the pint glass ‘quite hard’, and it struck Mr Hayes in the face causing wounds which needed 25 stitches.
The police were called, and officers found Howell back at the pub covered in blood and also injured.
After he was arrested Howell, who had two previous convictions for public order offences, said he had been trying to defend Abigail and that after throwing the glass he had been attacked by Mr Hayes, added Mr Brook.
Tim Pole, in mitigation, said that at the time Abigail was living in a women’s refuge following the breakdown of her relationship with Mr Hayes, who had a previous conviction for “relatively serious violence”.
Asking for Howell to be given a chance, he added: “It is not a gratuitous throwing of a glass. The basis of plea is that he was attacked, but that the throwing of the glass went beyond reasonable self-defence.”
Judge Christopher Hodson told Howell: “Anyone who in the course of an argument throws a glass that is aimed at another person and strikes that person’s face and causes the injuries I have seen, in my judgement goes to prison.
“But while I still feel I have to pass a custodial sentence, it is one that in the circumstances I shall suspend.”