Collarbone broken after push in club.
Byline: Gareth Lightfoot Court Reporter email@example.com
A NIGHTCLUB reveller suffered a broken collarbone when he was shoved on the dancefloor by a man he had met in prison.
The 57-year-old victim was "eight out of 10 drunk" when he recognised burly Liam Bennett, 30, in Middlesbrough's Slam club. The older man thought there was nothing untoward as the pair, who had once been in prison together, talked at the Exchange Square nightspot.
He went on to the dancefloor where he was then confronted by Bennett 20 to 30 minutes later, Teesside Crown Court heard on Tuesday.
Bennett pushed him over, knocking him out, said prosecutor Emma Atkinson.
The victim suffered a seizure and was taken to hospital with a fractured collarbone.
He later said he was upset and angry that he was attacked for no reason when he was trying to have a good time.
Bennett was found in a taxi and arrested.
He told police he was very sorry and wanted his apology to be passed on to the victim.
He said he pushed the older man because "he came over to me, getting in my face" and said things which annoyed him.
He said he did not realise he had pushed as hard as he did and did not mean to hurt him.
Bennett, of Millbrook Avenue, Brambles Farm, Middlesbrough, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm.
His seven previous offences included public disorder and affray where he threw punches in a large-scale fight.
Rachel Dyson, defending, said Bennett was emotional at the time after the death of his cousin and the birth of his first child. She said Bennett "reacted inappropriately" to comments about the cousin, but he did not want to makes excuses for his actions.
She said the birth of his son, now seven months old, had given his life a positive focus.
The judge, Recorder Mark McKone, told Bennett: "I accept that your wish to be a good father to him is genuine.
"You're not going to be a good father to him if you spend part of his young life in prison. Since 2009 you've been committing offences of disorder, normally when you are in drink.
"Since 2010 you've been taking cocaine."
He said neither a community order nor jail stopped Bennett offending in the past, but a push would not normally attract a prison sentence.
He gave Bennett a 10-month prison sentence suspended for two years with 200 hours' unpaid work, a year's supervision and an alcohol activity requirement.
| Liam Bennett leaves Teesside Crown Court after being |given a suspended prison sentence for inflicting grevious bodily harm