A PHOTOGRAPHER could have lost his sight when a drunken man smashed a wine glass into his face, leaving him with permanent scars around his right eye.
Victim Paul Stringer’s attacker Ethan Cronin was jailed for 21 months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to wounding him during the incident in a Stratford night club.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC also ordered Cronin, 25, of Regent Street, Leamington, to pay £300 compensation to Mr Stringer after hearing he had some savings.
Prosecutor Lee Marklew said in January last year Mr Stringer was with a group of friends in his home town of Stratford to say goodbye to a friend who was going backpacking in Australia.
They were in the Caz Bar night club in the town centre when he and one of his friends became unhappy about the way Cronin had spoken about two young women in his group.
There was a confrontation between Mr Stringer and Cronin, who were both the worse for drink, and they both stood up as words were exchanged between them – and it ended with Cronin hitting Mr Stringer with a wine glass.
Mr Marklew pointed out that Cronin had entered his plea on the basis that he had hit out instinctively and had no memory of having a glass in his hand at the time.
Mr Stringer said he had been unable to see because of the amount of blood in his eyes, but had felt more blows being rained down on him as he tried to protect his face with his arms.
After being pulled away, Cronin tried to leave the club, but was stopped and restrained by one of the doormen, and when interviewed by the police said he had been involved in some pushing, but claimed he did not hit anyone with anything.
Mr Stringer was taken to hospital where he needed ten stitches.
And after his initial treatment his eye was closed and he had to be readmitted to Redditch hospital because he had no feeling between his right eyebrow and his hairline.
In a statement a month later Mr Stringer said he was still having frequent headaches and was particularly worried that, on seeing the scars, people he met for his work as a professional photographer would perceive him as a thug.
Nick Devine, defending, argued therec was some provocation, and Cronin was undertaking an apprenticeship, and prison would be ‘devastating’ because it would bring his career to an end.
But jailing Cronin, Judge Lockhart told him: “You’d been drinking very heavily, and you chose to speak in a lewd way to two girls, in a way you would never have done if you had been sober.
“People who get into the state you did and lose control when otherwise they would not are still responsible for their actions.”