A man seriously injured a nine-year-old boy by lobbing a prosecco bottle at his head.
Liam Turner, 29, previously pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm and appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (16 March) for sentencing.
Prosecutor Kate Prince said the defendant, of St James, Dauntsey, was attending a friend’s address with numerous other people – including a group of children – in September last year.
An argument ensued with his pregnant sister, who was also attending the friend’s address. Turner armed himself with an empty bottle of prosecco and threatened her with it.
As he gestured towards his sister by swinging the bottle towards her, he accidentally threw it across the room – striking a nine-year-old boy in the face as he ran into the room after hearing the disturbance.
The youngster was hit on the upper part of his cheek, with the bottle narrowly missing his eye. He sustained a gash to his face which was bleeding and required emergency treatment.
He was taken to a minor injuries unit but due to the severity of the injury, the boy’s family were told to attend the Royal United Hospital in Bath for stitches.
The boy’s mother told the court that the incident had an impact on the victim, who was nervous and on edge – and rarely wanted to venture out. However, she says he is now improving.
She said that people regularly ask him about the very visible scar on his face and it upsets him, but she tells him he’s beautiful.
“I feel guilty about what happened, I took him to that house”, his mother said. Adding: “I don’t see my friends much anymore, I’m anxious about what happened.”
She said that the incident is “still affecting her today” and she is always “worried that something [similar] could happen again, even though I know the chances of that are very low”.
Liz Highams, defending, said Turner was drinking alcohol at the time but has since worked to address his alcohol issues. She said her client is remorseful for what he did and apologised in shock during his police interview.
She said her client is unemployed but is due to start a job following the outcome of this court hearing.
Magistrates imposed an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months. He must complete 25 rehabilitation activity days and 40 hours of unpaid work.
Turner was also banned from drinking alcohol for 120 days – this is monitored by a tag which senses alcohol in his sweat. If it detects alcohol, he will be reported to court for breaching the order.
He was also told to pay £150 to the victim, with £50 of that awarded to his mother for the distress she has also suffered as a result. He must also pay £85 costs and a £187 surcharge.
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