A MAN who beat up a DJ in a town centre bar has been given a six-month suspended jail sentence and a two-year Asbo.

Lee Darby, who admitted charges of common assault and intimidating a witness, was said to be a changed man since the incident on January 19 last year.

The 26-year-old punched and knocked the victim to the ground after following him into the toilet of a bar in Church Street, Hartlepool.

Loading article content

The victim was struck a number of times and left with a swollen and split ear and bruising and swelling to his head and face.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Darby, of Ridley Court, Hartlepool, was in dispute with the victim's father over both men's involvement in a trial.

The defendant, who has 15 previous convictions, including offences of escaping from custody and attacking a man and breaking his jaw, was said by his barrister Katy Dunn to be a different person after receiving treatment from his GP for depression.

She said Darby was in a relationship and had the possibility of a job opportunity.

Recorder Paul Camp said he believed it would not be in anyone's interests to send Darby to jail and gave him a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with supervision from the probation service.

Darby was also told to stay out of licensed premises in Hartlepool for a period of two years under the terms of the Asbo imposed on him.