A TRIAL of issue will be staged next month to decide on what basis a man, who has admitted causing grievous bodily harm in a pub confrontation, should be sentenced.

Liam North, 22, pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm when he appeared before Newton Aycliffe magistrates on August 29.

It relates to an incident which took place in the front yard of The Royal George pub, in Main Street, Shildon, on October 14, last year.

The male victim suffered a fracture to his right eye socket and lacerations to both his eyebrow and eyelid.

Due to the seriousness of the case, the magistrates committed the defendant to Durham Crown Court.

But when the case was called on, Judge Christopher Prince said he wanted to know on what basis the defendant gave his guilty plea.

The judge said: “In interview he gave an account where he was punched in the stomach and then pushed the complainant to his knees with two hands.”

He asked North’s counsel, Michele Turner, for a full written basis of plea.

When it was submitted, Judge Prince said the basis should be tested at a trial of issue, or Newton hearing, prior to sentence.

He bailed North, of Bede Crescent, Newton Aycliffe, to return for that hearing, on Thursday November 21.