A DRUNKEN reveller who hit another man with a bottle during a brawl at a Stafford nightclub, escaped going straight to custody.
Student Dale Reany swung the bottle at Mr Ashley Robinson who was trying to break up the fight on the dancefloor of Stafford's Couture nightspot.
The bottle smashed, leaving Mr Robinson with "significant wounds" to his ear, face and chest that required stitching, Stafford crown court heard.
The fight had been started by another drunken teenager, Thomas Bell, who began throwing punches after being barged on the dancefloor.
Bell, aged 18, of Compton Road, Stafford was given a 12 month youth custody sentence suspended for two years after admitting a charge of affray.
He was also ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work and curfewed for three months.
Reany, also 18, from Hartbury, Gloucs. admitted unlawfully wounding Mr Robinson.
He was sentenced to 16 months suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid community work and a three month curfew.
Judge Simon Tonking told them: "Both of you, on your own admission had far too much to drink.
"Bell, you effectively instigated the fight, you were brawling although you were provoked.
"A man who appears to be completely innocent intervened.
"Up to that point, you Reany had not been involved, but your reaction on the spur of the moment was to pick up a bottle and trow or swing it with great force so it struck Mr Robinson on the face and chest causing very serious injuries.
He received many stitches to his ear, his face and chest.
"For both of you this was an isolated incident. You are both keen sportsmen and there is no hint of you misbehaving in your respective sports.
"You both have very good careers ahead of you, if you don't let drink take over and you behave in this way again.
Both of those careers are in the balance as a result of what you did in a moment of madness that night."
The judge added that he was not making a compensation order against Reany to Mr Robinson, because the amount the court could impose might seem "derisory".
"His injuries are worth so much more. He is free to take action in the county court where a sum would be awarded so much more than I can impose."
Mr Nick Burn, prosecuting, said Bell had been acting aggressively on the dancefloor in the early hours of 28 April, he began throwing punches and a fight broke out which spilled into a corridor.
Mr Robinson was trying to separate the brawlers when Reany got involved, picking up a bottle and swinging it at the complainant.
"It was clearly a reckless act on his part," said Mr Burn.
Mr Peter McCartney, for Bell, said: "He accepts that when a male collided with him on the dancefloor, he lost his temper."
Mr Andrew Baker, for Reany, told the court: "He has faced up to the problem he committed this dreadful offence which will haunt him for the rest of his life."