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Teen avoids jail after glassing
A teenager who hit a fellow drinker over the head with a pint glass was spared an immediate prison sentence after a judge read psychiatric reports and heard how he had reformed.
Southampton Crown Court heard that Jason Bennett had been involved in an altercation outside the home of victim Paul Pither eight months previously.
On July 13, Mr Pither was with his wife in the rear garden of an Eastleigh pub when he heard abusive language aimed at him and, turning round, saw it was Bennett.
Prosecutor Jodie Mittell said Mr Pither and his wife got up to leave but Bennett followed, still shouting.
He then produced a glass from behind his back and struck Mr Pither, causing three cuts to the top of his head and leaving him with scarring on his forehead.
Mr Pither was knocked unconscious and taken to Southampton General Hospital for treatment.
In an impact statement, he said the assault had left him feeling vulnerable and insecure and he also spoke of his fears for his wife and their home because Bennett knew where they lived.
Said to have six previous convictions, Bennett, 19, of Riverside, Eastleigh, admitted causing actual bodily harm and breaching a six-month conditional discharge imposed for shoplifting.
In mitigation, Leah Dillon told the court of the teenager’s mental issues and that he had since given up taking cannabis.
On the day of the assault, he had drunk at least six pints of beer and had not taken his medication.
“It made him far more volatile and, to use his words, his behaviour was out of order.
“He no longer drinks to that extent, only socially at weekends.
“The fact he has obtained work has kept him on the straight and narrow and he could not be sorrier than he is.”
Judge Peter Ralls QC described the assault as premeditated and targeting an individual in a public place.
In his report, a psychiatrist said Bennett was a different person to the one who he had previously seen and was more mature. He also had a steady girlfriend and had obtained a job.
“I have come to the conclusion that I must give you a chance to turn your life around,” explained the judge, giving Bennett a 20-month suspended sentence, 24 months supervision and a six-month mental health treatment programme.
Under the terms of a five-year restraining order, the judge also banned Bennett from having contact with his victim or entering the Bishopstoke street in which Mr Pither lives.
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