A MAN who scarred another man for life in a brawl outside a pub has been spared jail.

Steve Dunster of Samuleson Court, Banbury, was set to stand trial for the attack with a pool cue outside the Dog and Gun pub, North Barr Street, on the night of January 30 last year.

However, in a last-minute change of heart the 46-year old admitted one count of unlawful wounding in April and was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday.

At the hearing, prosecutor Alexandra Bull told the court that Dunster had been at the pub with his girlfriend when they got into a row. On leaving the pub, a group followed them outside in an apparent bid to intervene.

A fight broke out and it ended with Dunster lashing out with a pool cue and striking one man in the head.

The man sustained a 14 cm laceration to the left side of the forehead needing 18 stitches as a result and in a victim personal statement he said he had been permanently scarred.

The statement read: “I was only protecting the bloke’s girlfriend and now I am scarred for life. He should be properly punished for what he has done to me.”

In mitigation, Adrian Amer said there had been ‘provocation’ in the run-up to the attack and that his client ‘also received injuries’.

Sentencing, Judge Peter Ross said: “You were involved in an unpleasant offence that it seems had its genesis within the public house.

“You struck a single blow which caused a deeply unpleasant laceration to his head and in a very obvious place and he continues to suffer the consequences.

“It was a single blow and it was after considerable provocation where you had been subject to violence yourself.”

Dunster was given a two-year jail term suspended for two years and must carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and obey an overnight curfew.

He is also barred from entering any pub for a year, must pay court costs of £1,000 and take part in rehabilitation.