THE family of a man scarred for life when he was glassed in a bar say they have ‘no faith in British justice’ after his attacker walked free from court.
Ashley Donald’s life was changed forever when he was brutally attacked by Craig Hungate while on a night out.
Speaking to The News after Hungate was given a suspended prison sentence, 27-year-old Ashley said the assault has made him become a timid shadow of his former confident self.
He had approached and exchanged words with Hungate in Bar 38, Gunwharf Quays, during an altercation.
Hungate then repeatedly punched the welder in the face while holding a glass. He did not know he was holding the glass at the time, the court heard.
Hungate, 22, was handed a 16-month prison sentence suspended for two years after admitting wounding.
Speaking outside Portsmouth Crown Court, Ashley, of Milton, said: ‘I didn’t get the result. Prison would have been the best for what he’s done. It’s not acceptable.
‘I used to go out a lot. I was quite lively, bubbly, but now I’m quite timid and don’t have confidence. I’m not the same person at all.
‘It’s taken over my whole life and changed my personality.’
Ashley says despite Hungate walking free from court he does now have closure. CCTV played in court at the sentencing hearing on Friday showed how the pair came together in the crowded bar last summer before Hungate repeatedly punched Ashley with the glass.
The attack happened in the early hours of May 31 last year.
Reliving the attack Ashley said: ‘It was slicing me every time he hit me with the glass, I could feel it slicing my face.
‘I realised it was a glass when I heard it smash.’
His dad David, 66, of Paulsgrove, said: ‘I’ve got no faith in British justice.’
In court, prosecutor Martyn Booth told how Ashley suffered cuts along both eyebrows, his nose and under his left eye, needing 70 stitches at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
‘The defendant himself was to telephone for an ambulance because during the course of this attack he was to slice the tip of one of his thumbs off,’ Mr Booth added.
‘He had to go to Queen Alexandra Hospital in an ambulance to have that repaired by the medics.
‘It’s of some note that during the course of his telephone call to the 999 system he was to make reference to him “glassing a geezer in the face”.
‘He then qualified it by saying that although that sounded bad he had done it for good reasons.’
Hungate, of Parsons Close, Hilsea, was arrested in hospital.
Judge Sarah Munro QC said the victim and his family would expect a prison sentence. Addressing Hungate she said: ‘It’s clear to me whatever happened before it, at one point Mr Donald approached you, either did or said something which led to another customer trying to pull him away.
‘He then went back to you again and your reaction was to lash out with your right hand punching him in the face.
‘You had a glass in your hand... you then punched him again.’
The judge, who said she could not ignore Ashley has previous convictions, added: ‘While the sentence must be a custodial term, in all the circumstances I have decided to suspend that sentence because it’s in your own interest and more importantly in the public’s interest for you to continue to work and pay back your victim.’
Hungate cries regularly about the incident, is genuinely remorseful, admitted his crime and saved up £1,200 to pay compensation, the court heard.
The judge ordered him to pay £1,500 compensation, and to complete both an alcohol programme and 20 days of rehabilitation activity activities.
Christopher Hewertson, for Hungate, said: ‘He felt substantially threatened and he acted disproportionately.’
Hungate, who has committed eight previous offences, was previously found not guilty of wounding with intent. A jury failed to reach a verdict on wounding but he later admitted the charge on the basis he used ‘excessive self-defence’.