A MAN who permanently scarred a woman in a Chester pub brawl has been spared jail.
Kevin Leech, 49, pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm after he punched Carley Emerson twice in the head, leaving her with two cuts needing stitches during a fight in the Town Crier pub beer garden by Chester Station.
West Cheshire Magistrates Court heard yesterday how a group of women, Leech and a friend of his started brawling after an argument broke out between the two groups.
Christopher Hunt, defending, said the altercation started after Katie McNicholas shouted a racial slur at Leech’s friend.
He said: “Mr Jihal goes to leave the pub and while he is waiting for Mr Leech he starts chatting to a woman, Carley Emerson.
“Lyn Emerson and Katie McNicholas come out and Miss McNicholas mimicks the way he is talking and becomes rather rude and tells him to ‘jog on’.
“Mr Leech then comes out and they begin to leave. The fight then starts because Katie McNicholas shouts something along the lines of ‘jog on you Paki’ and Mr Jihal runs back in to confront her.
“She’s then holding a glass up to his head. It’s not seen on CCTV but Mr Jihal gets his head cut. There’s provocation.”
During the fight Leech pushed over both Katie McNicholas and Lyn Emerson and punched Carley Emerson twice in the head before the men left. They were arrested a short time later.
Debbie Burns, prosecuting, said Carley Emerson was left with a permenant scar above her right eye. She said: “Carley required 10 stitches after the fight and all the women needed hospital treatment.
“Carley needed seven stiches to a cut above her right eye, which has left her with a scar, and three stitches to a cut on the back of her head.
“She now has to put make-up on her scar to cover it up and feels self-conscious about it.She won’t go back to the pub despite friends and family going there.”
The court heard Leech, of Kendal Drive, Great Sutton, and his friend had been out drinking and they went to the Town Crier for one more before going home.
Mr Hunt said Leech had only one previous conviction for a minor offence when he was 18. He added Leech was working shifts at a local manufacturer and his two children and heavily pregnant wife depended on him.
Mr Hunt said: “He’s a hard-working decent member of the community. He regrets what happened that evening.
“There was provocation in this case. Mr Leech lost it after his friend was subject to racist abuse and was threatened with a glass.
“This is a one-off blot on his otherwise impeccable record.”
Sentencing, magistrate Bill Culshaw said: “Alcohol is not an excuse for this behaviour. It is the reason. This has passed the custody threshold.”
He said the sentence would be suspended and commented: “I’m sure this has had a catastrophic effect on your family.”
Magistrates imposed a three month jail term suspended for a year. He was ordered to pay £85 costs, an £80 victim surcharge and £250 to Carley Emerson.
Mr Culshaw added: “That means, Mr Leech, if you involve yourself in someone else’s business again, then you will be back here.”