Plymouth bar brawler who knocked out man avoids jail term
A MAN who threw a flurry of punches during a bar brawl has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Matthew Bird lashed out when a fight broke out in a city club, leaving one man bruised and lying unconscious on the floor, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
Judge Graham Cottle told him: "You saw this as an opportunity to throw a few punches because you had been drinking."
Bird, of Abbotsbury Way, in Ham, had earlier admitted affray in Bar Cuba on North Hill on January 3 last year.
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Ann Reddrop, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said four people were alleged to have been involved in the fight, which happened after 3am.
The court was shown CCTV coverage from the bar which showed Bird among several men throwing repeated punches at one another.
She added that the main victim, who was not charged by police, was briefly knocked unconscious.
Mrs Reddrop said the injured man had bruising to his face and above his eye.
She added that two other men had been given suspended prison sentences for their part in the assault and a third had been cleared by a jury.
Ali Rafati, for Bird, said the 23-year-old had taken steps to tackle his drinking and that a sales assistant job was being kept open for him.
He added that it was 22 months since the offence and that Bird had pleaded guilty many months before.
Judge Cottle told him: "You have done some more alcohol awareness and I hope you can put it into practice so we do not see you getting into that situation again, of getting into a fight just because you enjoy it.
"If it happens again, inside you go."
Bird was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years.
He will have to do 125 hours unpaid work and observe a three-month curfew at home between 7pm and 7am on Fridays and Saturdays.
He was also excluded from licensed premises in North Hill and Union Street.
Bird was also put under Probation Service supervision for six months.