Helston: Man glassed friend in face

A Helston man has been given a suspended sentence after glassing a ‘friend’ on a night out in the town, leaving glass embedded in his eye.

Truro Crown Court heard that upholsterer Lee Bell was embarrassed and had a deep sense of shame over seriously wounding his friend of ten years, James Winchcombe when out socialising in Helston last January.

Prosecutor Iain White told the court that Bell was very drunk, aggressive and acting strangely when he followed Mr Winchcombe and his friends from the Red Lion pub in Helston to the nearby Beehive pub. Bell, who was not allowed in because he was so drunk, was mouthy towards another man and there was growing concern about his behaviour.

Mr Winchcombe, a friend for ten years, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and told him to go home and was then struck on the side of his face by a pint glass, which shattered.

The victim was taken to hospital for treatment for facial lacerations and the removal of a piece of glass from his eyeball under local anaesthetic. He did not suffer permanent damage to his sight.

In a prepared statement Bell said he had been very intoxicated and had over reacted to being grabbed by Winchcombe.

Defence solicitor Jeremy Leaning told Truro Crown Court on Friday that Bell was normally a hard working man respected in the community, running a business with five employees.

"Alcohol lies at the root of this offence," said Mr Leaning.

"He has taken full advantage of an alcohol reappraisal scheme offered him by the police when he was arrested, he has stopped drinking spirits, stopped binge drinking, ceased socialising in pubs and clubs and overall has reduced his alcohol consumption.

He added: “If jailed his business will close."

Saying Bell, looked, “like a gentle giant”, Judge Jeremy Griggs pointed out that the offence of unlawful wounding that Bell had admitted merited immediate custody, but for the fact that he was genuinely remorseful, and his employees would be affected.

Bell, aged 32 and of no fixed abode, was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work for the community.

He will be subjected to a curfew from 9pm to 7am on Wednesday to Sunday nights inclusive for six months and must pay £4,000 compensation to his victim, James Winchcombe and £1,200 prosecution costs.

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