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A PUB-GOER was left with a deep gash to his face needing 16 stitches after being attacked outside a Swansea pub, a court has heard.
The man was punched to the ground following an argument between drinkers in a Wind Street bar.
And a judge has questioned why the attacker had not been charged with a more serious offence than the one he faced.
Swansea Crown Court heard violence flared after a group of customers were thrown out of the popular Peppermint bar shortly before 3am on November 25 last year.
Dyed Thomas, prosecuting, said as the group left the premises 21-yearold Ian Whitaker punched one of the men he had been arguing with to the head, knocking him to the floor. He punched his victim a number of further times as he lay on the pavement, before being pulled away by door staff.
The court heard police arrived moments after the assault, and arrested Whitaker at the scene.
In his subsequent interview he told officers he “saw red” during the row, and ran after his victim as he was leaving the bar and punched him.
The victim was later taken to Morriston Hospital where he needed 16 stitches to a “deep laceration” above an eye.
In an impact statement read to the court the victim, who works as a carer in a children’s residential home, said the incident still played on his mind, and he was fearful of being left with a permanent scar.
Whitaker, of Argyle Street, Sandfields, Swansea, had previously pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.
The court heard he has no previous convictions.
Ian Wright, for Whitaker, said the defendant felt he had left himself and his family down by his actions on the night in question.
He said his client recognised the part alcohol had played in the offence, and had since reduced his consumption and avoided going out on busy nights of the week.
Judge Keith Thomas said it was clear Whitaker had chosen to continue to dispute once outside, and had punched his victim to the ground.
He said the appropriate sentence after trial would have been one of nine months prison – giving the defendant credit for his guilty plea, that was reduced to six months and was suspended for 12 months.
Whitaker was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work, and to pay his victim £750 compensation for the injury he inflicted. He must also pay £530 towards the cost of the prosecution.
Judge Thomas questioned why the assault had been charged as an ABH when a wound had clearly been inflicted, and said it should rightly have been charged as the more serious section 20 inflicting grievous bodily harm instead.
The prosecutor, Mr Thomas, said he agreed, and called the charge as it stood “plainly wrong”.