A YOB who battered his DJ cousin in a family dispute over an upcoming court case has been banned from every bar in Hartlepool town centre for two years.
Lee Darby, 26, punched his cousin unconscious in a 2am attack when his uncle was due to be a witness in a case against him.
Teesside Crown Court yesterday heard that DJ Greig Darby thought the attack was an attempt by his cousin to intimidate him over a trial of a street disturbance involving Darby in which his cousin’s dad was a witness.
Prosecutor Rachel Masters said Greig Darby was working at a Church Street bar on January 19 last year when his cousin said something to him in the toilets which he did not hear over the music.
Darby then punched him knocking him to the floor and continued the attack. Eventually it stopped and the next thing the victim remembered was lying on the floor with a member of the staff and the police standing over him.
Miss Masters said that Mr Darby suffered bruising and swelling to his face.
Lee Darby left the bar but he was found in a nearby pub and arrested in the early hours.
He made no reply to any questions when quizzed by cops.
The court heard Darby has 15 previous convictions for 30 offences on his record including wounding when he broke another relative’s jaw.
He has also breached an Anti Social Behaviour Order.
The Crown asked for another ASBO banning him from licensed premises in the town centre.
Darby, of Ridley Court, Hartlepool, admitted witness intimidation and common assault.
Katherine Dunn, mitigating, said that he had stayed out of trouble for over a year adding: “He has been in a relationship for over a year, his family are supporting him and he has a good opportunity of work.”
Judge Advocate Paul Camp told Darby: “This is a long time ago and it seems that things are turning a corner for you.
“Witness intimidation is a serious matter because it cuts at the roots of the judicial system.”
Darby was given six months jail, suspended for 12 months with probation supervision.
A two year ASBO banning him from licensed premises in the Surtees Street area was also imposed.