A MAN was left scarred for life for having a relationship with a girl who cheated on her boyfriend of nine years, a court was told yesterday.

David Williams, 25, was chatting with three friends in a pub when another drinker approached and asked him if he knew a girl called Helen.

When he replied that he did, the other man immediately smashed a pint glass into the left side of his face, causing three cuts and permanent scarring.

Police quickly arrested his attacker, 27-year-old Richard Tutty, who said he had heard that Mr Williams had been seeing his girlfriend.

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said Tutty claimed: "When I mentioned the name Helen he began to smirk, and that was the reason for using the glass."

Rod Hunt, in mitigation, said: "It seems that no matter how many laws we pass, the difficulties of the eternal triangle will always be with us.

"He (Tutty) was going out with Helen for eight to nine years, they had a long-standing, and he believed, loving relationship.

"He discovered shortly before this incident that she had been seeing Mr Williams and he was obviously extremely upset about it. The confrontation, he knows, should not have taken place."

He said labourer Tutty reacted instantly in Yates's pub in Skinnergate, Darlington, by punching him, forgetting he was holding the glass.

The judge, Recorder Aidan Marron QC, told him: "I am impressed by your early guilty plea and your obvious remorse."

Tutty, of Kelsoe Road, Darlington, was ordered to pay £750 compensation and £192 court costs, and to do 150 hours community punishment after he pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding on November 5 last year.