A FORMER art dealer has been ordered to pay compensation to a man who he hit with a beer glass after an argument in a pub.

Lee Blackshaw had tried to calm down other customers at the Golden Lion pub in Newton Abbot but had been unsuccessful and been slapped in the face during the incident.

He swung a glass into the face of another man after the dispute moved to the street outside and although the glass did not break, it still caused a cut that required four stitches.

Blackshaw is a 60-year-old former youth leader and art shop owner who has never been in trouble before and was seen on CCTV to be shocked by what he had just done. He has continued to express his regret and remorse ever since.

He was spared an immediate jail sentence by Recorder Mr David Chidgey at Exeter Crown Court and given the chance to pay compensation to the victim.

Blackshaw, of Chantry Lawn, Kingsteignton, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was jailed for two years, suspended for 18 months, ordered to do 240 hours unpaid work and pay £2,000 compensation.

The judge told him: 'I note the glass was not broken before it wounded the complainant and the injury is what one would expect from swinging a glass in that way, so on one view you intended really serious bodily harm.

'It could be said that by swinging this item towards somebody’s head with force, you did not know what was going to happen and it could have made contact with his eye or throat.

'I take into account your good character and the fact that you were acting as a peacemaker earlier in what was no doubt a stressful incident which involved a tussle with a significantly younger man.

'I have read your very impressive set of references which speak of your remorse about what happened. I have no doubt that what you did was out of character.

'A number of people have written about your background and the positive aspects of your life.'

Mr Simon Burns, prosecuting, said the assault took place outside the Golden Lion pub on October 27, 2021, and CCTV showed it followed in incident inside in which Blackshaw tried to act as peacemaker but ended up being slapped in the face.

He was seen on CCTV swinging an empty glass into the side of the victim’s face after the fracas moved into the street, but then appeared shocked by what he had just done.

Mr Paul Dentith, defending, said Blackshaw has been remorseful from the outset and is keen to pay compensation despite having debts as a result of running an art gallery business which folded in 2014.