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Driver scarred in party glass attack in South Molton

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: December 31, 2012

Exeter Crown Court

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A GUEST at a birthday party glassed a young rally driver, leaving him with scarring on his face, a court heard.

Ashley White, 23, was a friend of victim Ashley Hagon until an argument over a car which flared up again at the party in South Molton.

White followed amateur rally driver Mr Hagon when he went for a cigarette outside and threw a glass which hit him square in the face and shattered, leaving deep cuts.

Mr Hagon needed 22 stitches, suffered blurred vision and lost six weeks' work as a result, Exeter Crown Court heard.

White, of Cooks Cross, South Molton, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and was jailed for eight months by Judge Erik Salomonsen.

The judge told him: "You originally said this was an accident but you now accept the crown's case that you threw the glass from 5-6ft.

"You went outside the club saying that it was going to kick off and also tried to punch the victim, who sustained an injury to his face which caused a multiple laceration.

"Those who use weapons, and particularly a glass, will receive the appropriate sentence. I accept you are fundamentally a reliable individual and I accept your remorse. I have to take the view that those who use glasses in a public place, maybe when in drink, commit an offence which must merit a prison sentence."

Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, said that Mr Hagon and White had been friends but by the time of the offence in November, 2011, had fallen out, "possibly over the repair of a car".

Mr Barnes said: "White had previously threatened him and they both attended the same birthday party at South Molton Rugby Club, where Mr Hagon went outside at around 9.30pm and was talking with a friend.

"He heard a sound behind him, turned around, and was hit by a glass in the face. A witness said Mr Hagon went for a cigarette and heard White saying: 'it's going to kick off'."

He said Mr Hagon needed three deep stitches and 19 smaller ones and was likely to be left with some scarring. He had a problem with vision but that cleared by the time he made a victim impact statement in which he said the attack left him nervous about going out.

David Sapiecha, defending, said: "This was a festering argument which came to a head and was over in a flurry."

He gave the judge character references and said White had no relevant convictions and was remorseful about the attack.

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