Thug who glassed man he thought was eyeing-up his girlfriend in Hartlepool bar spared jail

Teesside Crown Court

Teesside Crown Court

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A THUG who glassed a man he thought was eyeing-up his girlfriend in a bar has been spared jail.

Darren Keenan’s lawyer argued that if he was sent to prison he would lose his high-earning job as a supervisor in charge of 20 men and the chance of a new home that he was setting up with his partner.

Teesside’s top judge the Recorder of Middlesbrough Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC told Keenan, 25, that he was very lucky to stay out of jail and that he owed his freedom to his barrister Jim Withyman.

Keenan and his girlfriend had gone to The Showroom in Hartlepool to watch her father’s performance in a tribute band, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Kyle Lord, 26, who had been drinking there with friends was leaving at 2.30am when Keenan said something to him about his girlfriend, said prosecutor Emma Atkinson.

Mr Lord could not recall what it was but he said “No”, and then Keenan struck him in the face with a glass.

When Keenan was arrested he had an injury to his hand, and when he was asked how he got it he said did not know.

Mr Lord was taken to hospital with multiple cuts to his face and he needed stitches in his upper lip.

He said in a victim impact statement that he used to go out twice a month, but he had only been out twice since the attack on March 30.

Keenan told police someone had been eyeing up his girlfriend, but he could not remember what happened or comments he made to the officers.

Mr Withyman, mitigating, said Keenan had made the mistake of drinking the same amount that he did in his younger days, and the brew was also stronger.

He added: “Thankfully, not by design but by good luck, the injuries appear to be superficial and the defendant had a big gash on his own hand and had to have a couple of weeks off work for it to be repaired.

“His pre-sentence report does mention contrition and remorse, and he has taken steps and he is no longer drinking heavily.”

Judge Bourne-Arton told Keenan: “The use of a glass is first and foremost very dangerous, and there have been cases where people have been blinded or died from the use of a glass.”

Keenan, of Addison Road, Hartlepool, was given a 16-month jail sentence suspended for two years, with 140-hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,500 compensation within three months, £250 prosecution costs and £100 victim surcharge after he pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.