Man suffered ruptured retina in club glass attack, court told
A DRINKER who hit a man in the face with a glass, rupturing his eyeball, has walked free from court.
Matthew Layton, 35, from Torquay, faced jail after admitting causing grievous bodily harm at Bar 7 in Newton Abbot.
But the judge at Exeter Crown Court decided that Layton deserved another chance and had not deliberately set out to harm his victim.
Instead Layton was told to pay former doorman Lee Storer £2,400 in compensation.
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The court was told that on April 29 last year a 'mumbling and incoherent' Layton, of Walnut Lane, encountered Mr Storer in the lavatories of the club.
Mr Storer recognised Layton from an incident five years earlier when he had escorted him from a club.
A few minutes later the pair began to scuffle in the corridor.
Layton hit his victim with the glass he was carrying. It did not break but caused a blunt trauma to the other man's eye.
Prosecutor Brian Fitzherbert said: "When the glass struck the front of the eye it caused the back of the eye to pop."
Layton was restrained by doormen and arrested.
But the victim suffered months of pain and discomfort, the court was told.
"It had a major impact on all areas of his life," the prosecution said.
He lost his job as a welder and four months later still had only 50 per cent vision in the eye. There is an ongoing risk that his retina could become detached.
Mary McCarthy, mitigating, said since then the victim had made a recovery. She said Layton had had a difficult childhood but was now a responsible family man. Before the incident he had not been out drinking for three years.
Judge Philip Wassell imposed a two year jail sentence, suspended for two years, and told Layton to do 180 hours of unpaid work in the community.
He was also put under curfew between 7pm and 6am for six months.