A MAN has been told he was within “half an inch” of being sent to prison after pushing a glass in a woman’s face during a Valentine’s Day pub brawl.

Lewis Karabiber, 26, reacted after Charlotte Horner threw the contents of a drink at him in the Crowborough Cross, Hove Crown Court heard.

John Riley, prosecuting, said Karabiber, of Harecombe Rise, Crowborough, and Horner knew each other prior to meeting in the pub on February 14 this year.

She was with a group of men in the Crowborough Cross when she approached Karabiber.

There was an exchange of views and the woman threw the contents of her drink at him, he said.

“The defendant was holding a glass in his hand and reacted by pushing the glass towards her,” added Mr Riley.

The woman was lucky not to lose an eye, the court heard, while Karabiber was told he was “very lucky” not to be facing a lengthy prison term.

He was handed a suspended sentence after pleading guilty on May 16 to assaulting Ms Horner causing her actual bodily harm. He was also told by His Honour Judge Martin Huseyin to “find another pub to drink in” after being barred from the Crowborough Cross for six months.

“You came particularly close to going to prison,” said Judge Huseyin. “I am, however, mindful of your guilty plea. What you did was reckless. You are very lucky that the impact of the glass was not half an inch from where it struck her face. Had it been so, she could have lost the sight in one eye.

“As such, you came within half an inch of going to prison.

“I also take into consideration the fact that, having watched CCTV footage of the events you were surrounded by several men and it was in this context that you reacted.”

The judge said several times during the sentencing hearing on June 22 that this was not a case where a defendant had “deliberately smashed a glass and pushed it in someone’s face”.

“That is not the nature of this case,” he told Kababiber. “That would have been much more serious. What you did was a gross over-reaction that could have led to serious injuries, but it did cause minor injuries.”

Judge Huseyin sentenced Karabiber to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered him to complete 60 hours’ of unpaid work within 12 months.

The defendant was also fined £400 after Peter Alcock, defending, told the court his client was in breach of a suspended sentence when he assaulted Ms Horner.

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