Magistrate tells teen in pub fight: ‘stick to the beer’

  • Whiskey-drinking 18-year-old man headbutted and pushed two people
  • Magistrate recalls his own father’s advice during sentencing the teenager
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A TEENAGER who headbutted a punter in a whisky-fuelled assault has been told by a magistrate: ‘stick to the beer.’

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard 18-year-old groundworker Kyle Gray had been drinking whisky in the White Horse pub in Nobes Avenue, Bridgemary, Gosport.

I remember the advice given to me by my father – “stick to the beer” – and it’s good advice because you’re not going to lose control

Chairman of the magistrates Jim MacDonald

Just before midnight he got into an argument with bar manager Sherene Johnston before pushing her twice in the throat.

He then headbutted a man, James Stevenson, who got involved to try and calm the teenager down.

Sentencing Gray to a 12-month community order, chairman of the magistrates Jim MacDonald said: ‘I remember the advice given to me by my father – stick to the beer” – and it’s good advice because you’re not going to lose control.’

Mr MacDonald banned Gray from the pub for 12 months. He added: ‘We could have easily sent you to jail to do and there’s a very real danger that’s where you’re heading if you don’t curb your behaviour.’

Prosecutor Giles Fletcher told the court how commotion erupted in the pub.

He said: ‘Essentially he assaulted the bar manager with a couple of pushes to the throat.

‘Mr Stevenson becomes involved trying to assist and is then headbutted by the defendant to the face, on 
the right-hand side of his mouth.

‘It causes a cut to his mouth.’

Gray has seven previous offences, three of violence against the person.

Magistrates ordered Gray, of Montgomery Road, Gosport, to complete a control of violence and anger in impulsive drinks course and a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 20 days.

He received a curfew from 8pm until 5am on Friday and Saturdays.

Gray must also pay £200 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge, £85 prosecution costs and a £150 criminal courts charge.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating in relation to the assaults in the pub on September 11.

Adrian Dodd, defending, said: ‘He’s ashamed about what’s happened and 
said he won’t be drinking whisky.’