A BIRTHDAY celebration which turned violent has seen a Hailsham man escape an immediate spell behind bars after he swung at his victim while holding a pint glass.
Stephen Chapman, of The Diplocks, was talking to the man’s wife when things turned sour during a get together at the Cuckoo Rest in Hellingly.
Eastbourne magistrates heard the 44-year-old had been with a group, which included the victim, to celebrate his [Chapman’s] wife’s birthday and had been socialising from the early afternoon.
Things took a turn for the worse after he swore at the woman and was then confronted by her husband.
In the attack that ensued - which took place in front of children and saw the defendant’s mother knocked over - Chapman headbutted the man and then struck him in the face while holding a pint glass.
His victim’s injuries included cuts to his face and a lump under his eye.
At a hearing on Tuesday September 11 Chapman pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Antony Standard, defending, said the root cause of the offence was too much alcohol, adding, “I appreciate the seriousness of the offence.
“I ask you to deal with it here rather than crown court.
“The officer commented on the level of remorse he showed.
“It was Mr Chapman’s wife’s birthday. There was an argument between Mr Chapman and the victim’s wife about nothing really.”
He said his client then headbutted the bigger man but not with full force, adding, “He’s generally a hard-working family man who doesn’t go out boozing.
“This is out of character for him in my submission.
“He doesn’t drink during the week and has a few cans of beer during the weekend. This was an isolated incident.”
A report from probation said it was unusual for Chapman to lose his temper and he seemed ashamed of what happened.
Magistrates sentenced Chapman to eight weeks jail suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, pay his victim £100 and £85 court costs.