Clitheroe man smashed pool cue over victim’s head in pub attack

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A CLITHEROE man who smashed a pool cue over another man’s head in an unprovoked attack has been sentenced to nine months in prison, but suspended for a year.

That means if Martin David Bialecki (21), of Bright Street, commits another offence in the next 12 months, the nine-month prison sentence could be invoked as part of the punishment.

He had previously pleaded guilty at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court to assaulting Matthew Coulter and Hayley Wootton causing them actual bodily harm and was committed for sentencing at Preston Crown Court.

Passing sentence, the judge also imposed a 12-month supervision order on Bialecki and ruled he must pay £250 in compensation to each of his victims.

At the previous hearing Blackburn magistrates were told about the assault at the now-closed Victoria pub in Clitheroe town centre, on a Saturday night in November. They heard that when the cue shattered a piece of it hit the victim’s female friend, leaving her with a scalp wound through which her skull was visible.

Mrs Hilary Reece (prosecuting) said Mr Coulter and Miss Wootton were enjoying a drink when Bialecki came into the pub about 10-45 p.m.

“For no reason whatsoever he picked up a pool cue, walked over to where they were sitting and without warning hit Mr Coulter over the head with the cue,” said Mrs Reece. “That blow was with such force that the cue shattered and Miss Wootton suffered the gash to her head. This was clearly a serious incident which was totally unprovoked.”

Mr Jonathan Taylor (defending) said his client was genuinely remorseful. He told the magistrates Bialecki’s brother had committed suicide in June and he was struggling to cope with the stress.

“On occasions he drinks far too much to try to block out the pain and misery he is feeling,” said Mr Taylor, adding Bialecki had never previously been involved in a similar matter. “He knows he has done a terrible thing and will have to be punished.”