AN AWKWARD customer who resisted as staff at a Carlisle bar tried to eject him because he was barred turned violent, using two bottles to attack one of them.

The manager from the Walkabout Bar in Botchergate was left with a scar on his forehead after Lewis O’Neil, 24, attacked him, lashing out first with a bottle of Malibu and then with a bottle of Heineken lager.

The defendant admitted an actual bodily harm assault and affray. Prosecutor Brendan Burke outlined the offences at Carlisle Crown Court.

It was during the early hours of April 1 last year when O’Neil was seen “furtively slipping into” the bar, as he knew he was on a Pubwatch scheme list of barred customers.

“Doorstaff noticed him and he noticed them noticing him,” said Mr Burke.

Despite him attempting to hide from them in the men’s toilets, they decided to remove him but he became “difficult,” said the barrister. It was at this point that the manager decided to help his colleagues to eject O’Neil.

Mr Burke said: “The defendant had come in holding a bottle of alcohol in each of his hands, and he swung them at the complainant.”

First, O’Neil smashed the Malibu bottle on the manager’s forehead, causing a significant laceration. Despite this, the manager continued to help his colleagues.

O’Neil then used the second bottle he had – the Heineken bottle, and though that did not smash it caused the victim bruising above his right eye. The defendant was also punching the manager was he was being pushed out of the building.

In an impact statement, the manager said he no longer felt safe and his attitude to life had changed. “He's constantly on edge,” said Mr Burke. The scar on his forehead was a constant reminder of what happened.

Since the assault, he had become more withdrawn.

The man said he blamed the attack for the breakdown of a relationship. There were no relevant previous convictions for violence on the defendant’s record, the court heard.

Kim Whittlestone, for O’Neil, said the offences were committed at what was a turbulent time in the defendant’s life, as he coped with the relationship breakdown; and he acknowledged that he had coped with the end of that relationship poorly.

“He was in essence sofa-surfing,” said the barrister.

O’Neil, of Ullswater Road, Carlisle, had also been drinking and consuming substances which led to him behaving aggressively. But he had now found work as a highways worker.

“He doesn’t shy away from the seriousness of his offending,” added Miss Whittlestone. Recorder Julian Shaw imposed a 20-month jail term suspended for two years.

The sentence includes 25 rehabilitation activity days, 120 days tagged alcohol abstinence, a three-month drug rehabilitation requirement, and 140 hours of unpaid work in the community.

O’Neil must also pay £250 compensation to the victim.