A Northampton man who bit a fellow customer’s nose during a fracas at a KFC takeaway was spared jail after promising a judge he would get help for his issues.
Paul Cottingham, of Wallace Road, Kingsley, had initially stepped in to act as a peacemaker when a fight broke out between his friend and another man at a fried chicken outlet in Kettering, on February 7.
But yesterday, Northampton Crown Court heard how the matter got quickly out of hand.
After punches were exchanged at around 2.15am, Cottingham then began to hold onto the male victim while his friend assaulted him.
CCTV played in court then showed the 22-year-old, who had been out drinking that night, biting the nose of the victim, before dragging him along the floor.
He and his two friends were arrested at the scene.
But sentencing him for a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm yesterday, Judge Adrienne Lucking QC spared the boiler engineer prison.
Calling him to the stand, Judge Lucking made Cottingham look her in the eye and promise to get clinical help for his drinking and depression.
“I was wrong for the beating,” Cottingham told the judge.
“I shouldn’t have been there. It was the wrong place, wrong time, wrong people.”
Cottingham represented himself in court due to issues with his Legal Aid.
Though the other two aggressors in the fight were given prison terms earlier this year, Judge Lucking chose to suspend Cottingham’s 12-month sentence for two years.
He was also made to carry out 250 hours of community services and told to attend out a 12-day alcohol rehabilitations programme.
While the judge showed the defendant leniency, she said the assault was still a serious one as the victim was left with painful injuries.
“This is a very serious offence of violence you made in a public place,” she said.
“This is exactly the sort of thing that makes people terrified to go into places at night.”