Student teacher denies intent to injure man with glass, Plymouth Crown Court hears
A STUDENT who struck a man in the face with a glass has told a jury he never meant to hurt him.
Trainee teacher Jonathan Wilkes, aged 23, said he was not aware he had the pint glass in his hand when he hit the stranger in a bar.
Wilkes told Plymouth Crown Court he was just trying to get away from Sean Tidball, who had him in a headlock.
The jury heard the glass smashed on impact, leaving Mr Tidball with three bad cuts to his face.
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Wilkes said: "I knew I had to get away from this guy. I swung my arm to hit him in the face without thinking about the pint glass which was still in my hand."
His barrister Robert Linford asked: "At the time you delivered that blow did it register in any way that you were holding a pint glass three quarters full of lager?"
Wilkes said: "No."
Wilkes, now living in Birmingham but formally of Belgrave Lane, Mutley, is on trial after denying assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at the Mousetrap on North Hill in November 2011.
He also denies an alternative charge of maliciously wounding Mr Tidball during the incident.
Wilkes, who was doing an education studies course at the time, said he went out with a large group of friends on the night of November 24.
He added he had four cans of cider before he arrived at the Mousetrap and said he was not drunk that Thursday night.
Wilkes said a friend handed him a pint glass, but he had only had a couple of sips.
He added he noticed a stranger, James Bodley, dancing close to one of the girls in the group on the dancefloor.
The court heard the girl pushed Mr Bodley away lightly but he came back towards her.
Wilkes said he, still carrying the pint glass, got on to the floor and danced between his friend and Mr Bodley.
He added: "He pushed against me and I resisted. I turned around and he was right in my face. I put my arm against him to push him away from me.
"Then a second man came over, pulled his arm around my neck and pulled me away."
Wilkes said he tried to stay on his feet and then struck the stranger, Sean Tidball.
He added he froze for a second before he was dragged away by a doorman.
Jason Beal, in cross-examination for the prosecution, asked Wilkes: "Are you sorry for what you did?"
He replied: "Extremely. I did not want anyone to get hurt like that at all."
Mr Beal suggested that he swung at Mr Tidball after he was released from the headlock.
Wilkes denied this.
He also said he did not hear Mr Tidball telling him to calm down and did not reply that he was calm – as suggested by the complainant.
Wilkes said he was in shock after the incident and feared that his teaching career was over.
He added he was working for a logistics company but hoped to return to his studies.
The trial continues.