a PUB-GOER who hit a man in the head with a pool cue and left him needing stitches has avoided going to jail.
Craig Joyce, 38, and victim Geoffrey Pell, 35, were drinking at the Travellers’ Rest, Elland, on September 17 last year when violence broke out, Bradford Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Alisha Kaye said: “The complainant was struck to the head by the defendant, who stood behind him holding a pool cue in his hands.”
“Immediately, he felt blood coming from his head and staggered into the pool room where he was attended to by the landlord.”
Police were called and Joyce was arrested at the scene.
His victim went to hospital and had five stitches to the back of his head.
Joyce, of Scarborough Terrace, Elland, admitted wounding with intent but claimed he had been provoked.
He claimed Mr Pell had pulled his T-shirt over his head and punched him as he made his way to the toilet.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said: “If matters had ended there there would have been no problem, save perhaps a barring from the public house.
“But what you did was go to the pool room, pick up a pool cue and strike Mr Pell to the back of his head as he faced away from you – and it was a hefty blow.”
He added: “This was a reaction in the spur of the moment in the face of some real, if not extreme, provocation.”
Joyce, who is of previous good character and suffers from severe heart disease, was sentenced to a year in prison, suspended for two years with 12 months of supervision.
He was also ordered to complete 300 hours of unpaid work and must obey a six-month curfew between 8pm and 6am.