A MAN from County Durham, who badly cut a young gymnast's face when he hurled a bottle at her grandmother's car, has been warned to expect jail.

Abbie Keers, nine, was a passenger in the Fiat Punto when the window shattered at the force of the impact.

Matthew McCrea, 24, of Tyne Vale, Stanley, has previously admitted causing actual bodily harm on the basis that the bottle inadvertently hit the car when he threw it from an underpass in the town at about 10.20pm on Valentine's Day.

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The prosecution said it did not necessarily accept that basis of plea, but was not in a position to disprove it. Sentence was adjourned until August 1.

Judge Christopher Prince told McCrea he might receive a jail sentence.

"You should put your affairs in order before you return," the judge said.

Abbie was badly cut below her eye and suffered other facial injuries. She has continued to compete in junior gymnastics events despite her frightening ordeal.