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Man slashed at pub owner with glass in Combe Martin

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

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DRAMATIC video footage obtained by the Journal shows the moment a drunk man smashed his way into a pub flailing a large shard of glass.

The CCTV footage from the Castle Inn at Combe Martin shows Thomas James Green, 20, of Victoria Street in Combe Martin, hurling a sign through a large glass window at the front of the pub.

The video, which can be seen in full on the Journal's website, shows Green climbing through the window with a large shard of glass in his hand.

He is then restrained by landlord Allan Stephenson who rams Green with a bar stool and detains him until police arrive.

The scenes were likened to a Wild West saloon bar by magistrates.

Green pleaded guilty to criminal damage and using threatening or abusive behaviour at North Devon Magistrates' Court last week.

The court heard Mr Stephenson was having a drink with friends and colleagues in the Castle Inn at around 4am on August 9, hours after the Combe Martin Carnival parade. The doors of the pub were locked.

Ben Winzer, for the prosecution, said Green had been banging on the pub door and shouting and swearing outside.

He said: "The defendant's father was in the pub at the time.

"It was a volatile situation. Green threatened some staff members with violence.

"A brawl broke out in the street between Green and his father. Mr Stephenson intervened and brought the situation under control."

Members of staff and Green's father then returned to the pub and carried on drinking.

Mr Winzer said: "At 4am there was a huge smash and one of the front windows broke. The defendant then climbed in, he had a large shard of glass in his hand.

"Fearing for his safety, Mr Stephenson hit Green with a stool and restrained him until the police arrived."

When interviewed by police Green said he was drunk and had been angered by the fight with his father.

However, he said he wasn't waving the piece of glass to harm anyone but rather to steady his drunken balance.

Laurence Overend, for the defence, said the incident was fuelled by excess alcohol and family tension.

He said: "Two years ago Mr Green's father left the family home and they have had very little contact since.

"That night he had been to the pub to find his friends but, in an unfortunate twist of fate, his dad was there.

"After being ejected from the pub my client says he was beaten up by his father which left him feeling very angry."

The court heard Green threw a sign through the window and caught a shard of glass when the window broke.

Mr Overend said: "Anyone who witnessed this scene could have construed it as a threatening posture.

"Although he didn't intend to hurt anyone with the glass it would have looked very worrying. He accepts he dealt with the situation incorrectly."

After Mr Stephenson restrained Green with a bar stool, another member of staff broke a pool cue in half and hit Green with it several times, the court heard.

Presiding Magistrate Michael Buckley said: "Combe Martin is not the sort of place to reenact a Wild West saloon fracas so make sure this does not happen again."

Green was given 100 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £230 compensation to pay for the broken window.

To view the CCTV footage in full visit www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk.

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