Man glassed in face in Scarborough bar and nightclub

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A man was glassed in the face after violence flared in a Scarborough bar and nightclub, a court heard.

Ben Dunn, 22, had been causing trouble in the The Mist Bar in St Thomas Street where he went up to 60-year-old Paul Hirst, who was dancing with his wife, and grabbed him by the throat for no apparent reason.

Hirst, who was celebrating his wedding anniversary, retaliated by punching Dunn to the back of the head, York Crown Court heard.

The warring parties were separated by others who had been enjoying the disco music, said prosecutor Rob Galley.

But then Dunn walked over to Hirst once more, whereupon Hirst either threw or shoved a pint glass into his face. The glass shattered on impact, causing cuts and scarring around Dunn’s eye.

Staff and others split the pair up again and escorted them out of the bar. Police were called and both men were arrested.

Dunn was charged with affray and common assault. Hirst was charged with affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Both men admitted the charges and appeared for sentence on Friday when they sat beside each other in the dock.

The court heard that Dunn’s injuries were not serious enough to require medical treatment and he wasn’t left with any permanent scarring.

Mr Galley said trouble flared at about 11pm on May 4 when Dunn had a “short discussion” with Hirst’s wife on the dance floor, shortly after which he “made a grab” for Hirst’s throat and pushed him backwards.

After the two men were separated, Dunn walked up to Hirst on the edge of the dance floor with his arms outstretched. Dunn’s counsel claimed this was an apologetic gesture.

One of the bar managers said he then heard the smashing of glass as Dunn was struck with a pint glass full of water.

Following his arrest, Hirst, of Keyworth Close, Askern, near Doncaster, told police that before violence erupted, Dunn had walked up to him and said: “Your sort don’t belong here.”

Dunn, of Lightfoots Close, Scarborough, said he had little recollection of the incident and had blacked out at some point.

The court heard that Dunn had two previous convictions for shoplifting. His offences at The Mist Bar, where he had been downing vodkas, were in breach of a conditional discharge for shop theft in August.

Matthew Collins, for Hirst, said Dunn’s initial assault was “completely unprovoked” and his client had retaliated.

He said the violence shown by Hirst, a former Citizens Advice and voluntary worker, was “completely out of character”.

Andrew Petterson, for Dunn, conceded that his young client had been drinking heavily and provoked the initial violence, but had not made any threats before being glassed.

Judge Paul Worlsey QC said the violence was “out of control” but added that Hirst had been “causing no problems to anyone” when Dunn approached him on the dance floor.

Hirst was given a nine-month prison sentence for ABH, but this was suspended for a year because he had not caused the incident and had no previous convictions for violence. He was also ordered to carry out 160 hours’ unpaid work, fined £300 and made to pay £200 costs.

Dunn was given a three-month jail sentence, but this was also suspended for a year because he too was not ordinarily a violent man. He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £50 costs.