A ‘RECKLESS’ Rugby man flicked a cigarette into a teenager’s face because he believed the boy had been knocking the door of his village home and then running off.
Gary McDonald had denied assaulting the boy causing him actual bodily harm during the incident outside a Long Itchington pub more than two years ago.
But on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court McDonald, 44, who lived in Leicester Row, Long Itchington at the time, changed his plea to guilty.
McDonald, now of Cambridge Street, Rugby was given a 12-month community order and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Prosecutor Balvinder Bhatti said the 16-year-old victim was with friends outside the Green Man pub in Long Itchington in March 2013 when he was approached by McDonald who was complaining about someone knocking on his door.
And when one of the young men said ‘alright,’ McDonald reacted by saying angrily: “I’ll give you alright.”
Miss Bhatti said: “He then flicked his cigarette at the complainant, and the ash went into his eye, causing him immediate pain and a temporary reduction in vision.”
The teenager was found to have a corneal abrasion to his left eye which had to be treated with ointment and antibiotics, but has not had any lasting effect.
Miss Bhatti added that McDonald’s last conviction for actual violence had been in 1994, but more recently he was given a community order for using threatening words and behaviour.
Graeme Simpson, defending, pointed out that McDonald had entered his plea on the basis that he had caused the injury recklessly, and argued: “This falls within the lowest category.”
Sentencing McDonald, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told him: “This shows that if you lose your temper really serious things are risked.
“Here you had been provoked by unknown people, and you thought this person, who may or may not have been responsible, was mocking you.
“But by being reckless with your cigarette you could have done him very serious injury. Fortunately you did not.”
And the judge added: “One morning as you get up to go and do the unpaid work, you might just reflect on why you’re doing it. It’s because you are not in control of your feelings.”