Man went "berserk" and hit bouncer with champagne bottle in Plymouth club
A MAN went "berserk" and hit a doorman in the face with a champagne bottle, a court heard.
John Southern, aged 30, attacked his former schoolmate after he was refused service at a club, Plymouth Crown Court was told.
A judge said the behaviour of Southern, who himself used to be a bouncer, was "disgraceful".
Recorder Malcolm Gibney said: "Drunken gratuitous violence in a nightclub using a bottle as a weapon passes the custodial threshold."
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But he suspended the jail term after hearing that Southern's mental health was suffering and that he had just got back in touch with his daughter.
Southern, of Albertha Close, Greenbank, had earlier admitted assaulting William Welsh causing actual bodily harm on September 16 last year.
He admitted the offence put him in breach of a conditional discharge imposed for another offence of assault causing actual bodily harm in 2011.
Alistair Verheijen, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Southern was becoming more and more intoxicated in Revolution at Derrys Cross in September last year.
He added a barmaid refused to serve Southern and he swore and walked away carrying an empty champagne bottle.
Mr Verheijen said he approached doorman Mr Welsh, whom he had known at school.
He added Southern pulled at his security badge and Mr Welsh told him to go away and then he pushed him gently to the side.
Mr Verheijen said: "Witnesses describe the defendant as going berserk and swinging the champagne bottle towards Mr Welsh, striking him on his face and with such force that he was knocked backwards."
The court heard he was left with a cut chin and ongoing problems with dizziness and nausea.
Ali Rafati, for Southern, said: "He was very drunk and his recall of what happened is poor. He cannot get his head around why he would behave in that way."
But the barrister said he had been sipping from the champagne bottle and had not intended to use it as a weapon.
He added he had lost his licence to work in security after his assault conviction in 2011.
Mr Rafati said his mental health had deteriorated since then.
He added he had ejected a violent man from a nightclub in Kingsbridge two years ago.
The court heard he had fallen down the stairs and broken his wrist.