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Casino dispute led to vicious bottle attack
A BOOZED-UP attacker repeatedly battered an innocent man around the head with a beer bottle after a dispute in a casino, a court heard.
Christopher Foy wrongly thought his parter was going to be assaulted by his victim after the pair exchanged words about the woman's behaviour.
Staff and other customers watched in horror as Foy - who had downed 20 bottles of lager - clubbed Christopher Muldowney to the ground.
Foy's alcoholic girlfriend Michelle Jaffray was having her last night out before starting addiction treatment, Teesside Crown Court heard.
She was described as abusive and insulting to other people on the black jack table and had been asked by Mr Muldowney to mind her language.
Jaffray lunged at Mr Muldowney and hit him four times before 45-year-old rig worker Foy intervened, prosecutor Sue Jacobs told the court.
Graham Brown, mitigating, said she felt guilty for putting her partner at risk of prison by her behaviour in the Grosvenor casino in Stockton.
Jaffray was dealt with at magistrates' court for assaulting Mr Muldowney in January last year, and was given a conditional discharge.
Mr Brown described Foy's actions as "a split moment of foolishness and stupid criminality" and accepted that he over-reacted.
He said: "His partner feels an enormous burden of guilt as a result of the events which would not have occurred had it not been for her.
"He tried to prevent his partner's actions then from his view, with the man standing up, believed entirely incorrectly it was going to lead to a physical confrontation."
The court heard how the attack - captured on CCTV - left the victim with multiple cuts to his head which needed 14 staples to repair.
Foy, of Hedburn Road, Stokesley, North Yorkshire, admitted wounding with intent and was jailed for three years and eight months.
Judge Gillian Matthews, QC, told him: "It is clear you initially tried to stop the trouble, but you used a bottle and it was sustained.
"It was shocking and disgraceful violence and I know you struggled to watch it. It must have been extremely shocking for those present."