A DRUNK man who glassed his attacker in 'excessive self-defence' in a pub has been spared jail.

Thomas Farquharson struck Oliver Freeman with a glass in The Crown pub in Broad Street, Worcester, slicing open his ear and neck, leaving him with 'permanent scars'.

The 26-year-old had already admitted wounding on the basis that he acted in 'excessive self-defence' when he was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on Thursday.

Both men had been drinking in separate groups before the pub fight at around 11pm on January 26 this year. Mr Freeman had drunk five cans of beer before going out and drinking four pints while the defendant had drunk five pints of cider, the court heard.

Richard Franck, prosecuting, said a doorman had seen Mr Freeman grab the defendant's partner outside the pub. This resulted in 'some sort of confrontation' between Farquharson and Mr Freeman before the defendant and his partner went back inside.

Mr Franck said Mr Freeman and his friends then came back into the pub through another door, swore at the defendant and said: "What was that all about?"

One witness, a friend of the defendant, said she saw three or four people trying to jump the defendant and throwing punches at him although the doorman, an independent witness, 'did not put it that way'.

Mr Franck said: "The defendant had a glass in his hand which he swung, striking Mr Freeman to the left hand side of his face, splitting his ear and scarring his neck."

He added: "It's perhaps not as bad as it could have been."

Judge Robert Juckes QC said: "That, it has to be said, is a matter of pure chance. If you hit someone in the face with a glass the probability is that it's going to cause very serious injuries."

In a victim impact statement Mr Freeman said he had repeated thoughts about the incident, his ear required sutures and he had suffered permanent scars to his ear and neck.

Jason Aris, defending, said his client stepped in to take his partner back into the pub after Mr Freeman pulled her by the arm.

Mr Aris said it was 'telling' that the doorman had called Farquharson and his partner back inside and that Mr Freeman and his friends came back into the pub using another entrance.

He argued that it was a 'reasonable inference' that the victim and his friends were not welcome because of their behaviour outside.

Mr Aris added: "When the defendant was approached by the complainant the defendant was sitting down. He was surrounded by the complainant and his friends. They were shouting.

"The defendant felt he was under attack at that time, given not only the abuse that was being levelled at him but bearing in mind what had happened outside.

"He accepts he lashed out with the glass to defend himself. This is very clearly not a case where the defendant was intending or wanting to cause serious injury. If he had wanted to do that he would have put the glass immediately into the complainant's face."

He argued that his client, who works as a barber, had been trying to push Mr Freeman away and still had the glass in his hand, saying he 'wholly regrets he was put in that particular situation that night'.

Mr Aris described the case as 'unusual' and asked that the sentence be suspended, providing several references for his 'educated' and 'hard-working' client.

He also said Mr Freeman had not sought medical attention at the time and instead went clubbing in Worcester.

Judge Juckes QC remanded Farquharson in custody over lunch to consider the sentence 'with care'.

When he sentenced him, the judge said he initially felt he had to impose an immediate custodial sentence in spite of him being a young man of previous good character.

However, he said: "It does seem to me I must reflect there were wholly exceptional circumstances which led you to use the glass in the way you did."

Judge Juckes said Farquharson had 'already been subjected by them to a degree of abuse and some assault, though no injury'.

He told Farquharson: "You undoubtedly felt threatened because of the way they were behaving."

The basis of the plea, that Farquharson did not realise he had a glass in his hand, had already been accepted by the Crown and the judge had to sentence him on that basis.

"I find it very hard to believe you can punch someone without believing you had a glass in your hand" he said.

The judge sentenced him to 15 months in prison suspended for 18 months and ordered him to pay £1,500 compensation to the victim and £500 towards costs.

Farquharson of Westhead Road, Cookley, Kidderminster must pay this off at a rate of £150 per month. Farquharson was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and placed on an electronically tagged three month curfew between 8pm and 6am.