Clitheroe man left ‘half blinded’ after glassing

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A MAN who left a nightclubber half blinded in an early hours glassing has walked free from court.

Victim Mark Steer (23), of Clitheroe, suffered a perforation to his right eye, had two operations, and might face a corneal graft, after he suffered the “accidental” injury at the hands of Sean Towers in The Attic Bar, Accrington, last October.

Mr Steer, an apprentice engineer, would only know after a year if he had permanently lost the sight in his eye or whether more surgery could restore it, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Towers, said to have an “important“ job and who has never been in trouble before, claimed his friend had rowed with Mr Steer and he had lunged towards them, not realising he had a short glass in his hand. The glass broke, gashing the victim, but he had not intended to hurt him.

The 23-year-old defendant, of Devonshire Street, Accrington, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm. He was given nine months in prison, suspended for a year, with 180 hours’ unpaid work and must pay £1,500 in compensation.

Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said Mr Steer was on the dancefloor and was annoyed when he was pushed twice in the back. He was shoved a third time, fell and exchanged words with the defendant’s friend, was grabbed by the neck and headbutted the friend.

Towers saw the incident, went to help his friend and hit the victim. Mr Steer heard the glass smash and felt pain in his eye as a shard of glass became embedded in it. He also suffered a cut nose. The defendant immediately ran from the scene.

Miss Statham said the victim had stitches to his nose and the perforation to his eye was repaired under anaesthetic. He underwent more surgery in November, to implant a lens, and his consultant, who would say the prognosis was guarded, reported he may need a corneal graft.

The hearing was told all the victim could see from his right eye were blurred shapes and movements, but he was still able to work.

Towers told police he panicked and had “done a runner” as he was not a fighter.

For Towers, Mr Adrian Williams described the case as unusual and said the defendant had a significant job with prospects and could pay compensation.

The solicitor added: “This is a young man with a family who are acutely aware of the seriousness of what he has done, but perhaps a young man who is deserving of this one opportunity”

There’s more on this case next week in the Clitheroe Advertiser & Times