A MAN kicked his friend in the face and knocked his front teeth out in an attack outside a city centre bar.
Lee Palmer, 23, was spared an immediate prison sentence over the incident outside the Graziers, Market Street, Wakefield, on May 22 this year.
Leeds Crown Court heard Palmer attacked pal Keiran Thomas in the early hours of the morning after they had spent the evening drinking in Wakefield city centre.
Richard Walters, prosecuting, described how trouble began when Mr Thomas decided he wanted to go home and Palmer tried to stop him from leaving.
The court heard Palmer grabbed hold of his friend and there was a struggle inside the bar which went on for 10 minutes.
The dispute continued outside the premises when there was pushing and shoving and Palmer held Mr Thomas in a “tight hug”.
Mr Walters said Mr Thomas can’t remember anything else of the incident until he regained consciousness while laid on the pavement.
The court heard witnesses described how Palmer pinned his friend to the floor and kicked him in the head.
Palmer ran off when people intervened after seeing Mr Thomas covered in blood. Police were called and Palmer was arrested nearby. He was interviewed about the incident and claimed he had tried to stop Mr Thomas from leaving because he was worried about him. He said his friend had then tried to attack him and he had inflicted the injuries in self defence.
Palmer, of Ings Beck Mews, Wakefield, later pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm. Michael Devlin, mitigating, said his client was full of remorse for what he had done and wanted to apologise to Mr Thomas.
Mr Devlin said Palmer’s behaviour was out of character. He said his client had a number of mental health problems at the time and was suffering from anxiety.
Judge Guy Kearl, QC, gave Palmer a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered him to take part in a programme designed to address his behaviour.
He said: “You have shown both before this court and to the probation service, remorse and shame and I accept that is genuine.”