Man jailed for nightclub bottle attack

Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A man who carried out an unprovoked attack with a bottle inside a nightclub has been jailed and warned about his violent behaviour.

Bradley Houghton, 23, of Talbot Road, Sudbury, smashed the bottle on to the head of a man who was talking to security staff at Infinity Nightclub in Sudbury in the early hours of April 21.

The victim, Harry Payne, suffered cuts to one side of his head in the attack. Two people standing nearby were also hurt as shards of glass were scattered.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that, prior to the attack, Mr Payne had twice been punched by Houghton after a friend became involved in a “sour” discussion about football.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said: “It was while Mr Payne was talking to bouncers that he felt what he realised was a bottle smashing against his face. He realised it was the defendant who was responsible for that.”

Houghton, who had been drinking, had pushed past the security staff to carry out the attack, the court heard on Thursday.

A witness told police that the attack came “out of the blue” and without provocation, resulting in blood streaming from Mr Payne’s head. He was treated by paramedics at the scene.

Mr Crimp said that two other people, a man and a woman who were standing nearby, were also struck as the bottle shattered.

In mitigation, Richard Potts said his client, who had acted in an “appalling way”, had abstained from alcohol since the incident and had expressed remorse.

Following his arrest, Houghton had told police officers: “I know I shouldn’t have done it.”

Houghton had pleaded guilty to one offence of assault causing actual bodily harm and two offences of common assault.

The court heard that Houghton, who was unemployed, had two previous convictions for offences of violence.

Jailing him for a total of 14 months, Judge Rupert Overbury told him: “Young men of your age who go out drinking in clubs and pubs and then pick up a bottle or glass and smash it over someone else’s head will inevitably receive a prison sentence because the courts have to deter other young men like you from doing that sort of thing.”

Judge Overbury said it was “extremely fortunate” that the injuries suffered by the victims were not more serious.

Before Houghton was taken away to begin his sentence, Judge Overbury warned him: “You must realise that if you continue to commit offences of violence, you will continue to receive custodial sentences. There has to be a deterrent element in these cases.”