Teen US airman glassed in Prince of Wales Road bar

PUBLISHED: 08:37 21 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:23 21 March 2020

Bar & Beyond, Prince of Wales Road, Norwich.

Bar & Beyond, Prince of Wales Road, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

A teenage US serviceman almost lost his eyesight when he was glassed in a Norwich bar by a man with a string of convictions for violence.

The 19-year-old needed 27 stitches after being punched in the face in Bar and Beyond on Prince of Wales Road by Darren Elliott, who had a glass in his hand.

Elliott, of Lister Street, Willenhall, near Wolverhampton, left the US airman with a permanent facial scar, Norwich Crown Court heard.

The attack happened at around 1.50am on February 10 2019.

Elliott, 43, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and was sentenced on March 20.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said the serviceman was lucky not to have lost his eyesight in the attack, but had suffered permanent damage to his face and facial nerves and had since been worried about his job.

Mr Youell said: “The scar is obviously with him for life.”

The court heard how Elliott had been in Norwich visiting a sick aunt, and was staying at a city centre Travelodge. He had been to the Murderers pub on Timber Hill with some friends and had drunk “three gins and three lagers” and had been in good spirits.

But The court heard at Bar and Beyond he had started to feel threatened and became separated from his friends. When Elliott came across the serviceman, he punched him to the ground.

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Mr Youell said: “He saw what he describes as ‘a geezer’ in front of him. He went to punch the male not realising he had a glass in his hand.”

The serviceman got up, but Elliott punched him a second time, before the American was able to wrestle him to the ground and restrain him until police arrived.

The serviceman was taken to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for emergency surgery as “his face was opened up by the glass”.

Elliott, who is the sole carer of his two children aged seven and eight, is a service engineer for fire extinguishers.

Jailing Elliott for two years, Judge Stephen Holt said: “It is quite clear that you are a hardworking man and are expressing a high degree of remorse. You accept that it is you that has got you into this situation and the ones who lose out are your nearest and dearest.

“Those who glass other people in the face have to expect an immediate custodial term.”

He said Elliott had a record of 21 convictions covering 45 offences, six involving violence against people, although most of which were some time ago.

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