A MAN has been left scarred after a thug smashed him over the head with a glass in a bar toilets.

Cameron Hughes, then aged 19, passed out and needed stitches to a nasty gash near his ear after he was attacked by John Stephens.

At Minshull Street Crown Court 25-year-old Stephens was jailed for 12 months after Judge Sophie McKone told him he had deliberately armed himself with a weapon.

"It must have been a very frightening experience for Mr Hughes," she said.

Simone Flynn, prosecuting, told how Mr Hughes and his friends were enjoying a night out in Cheers Bar on Middleton Road, Prestwich, on the evening on June 21 last year.

Bury Times:

"During the course of the evening the defendant, who was unknown to the victim, Mr Hughes kept approaching their group and was initially generally friendly," said Ms Flynn.

"However, as the evening progressed, the atmosphere changed."

Stephens then behaved "inappropriately" towards the girlfriend of one of Mr Hughes' friends.

Mr Hughes intervened when an argument and scuffle broke out between the friend and Stephens but the incident then calmed down.

But 15 minutes later, after Mr Hughes went into the toilet, Stephens followed and came out again just a minute later.

"He comes back into the bar area and then proceeds to pick up a glass from a table and return into to toilet," said Miss Flynn.

As Mr Hughes turned round Stephens hit him over the left side of the head with the glass, which shattered.

Stephens ran out of the toilets and was arrested by police as he and two others tried to escape the bar by climbing over a wall into a back alley.

Mr Hughes bled heavily from the wound and lost consciousness. In hospital he needed stitches and has been told that he will be left with a scars within and behind his ear.

Stephens, of Bradshaw Avenue, Whitefield, made no comment when questioned by police, but was picked out in a video identification parade.

Miss Flynn said that, in his victim statement, Mr Hughes described the attack as "totally out of the blue".

"When he was on the floor he knew he was bleeding and about to pass out and all he could think about was he would never see his children again."

Stephens pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and the court heard that, while he has previous convictions for burglary, he does not have any for violence.

Joe Rawlings, defending, stressed that Stephens, a painter and decorator, had suffered "significant trauma" before the incident and needs treatment for PTSD. He had been attacked himself several years earlier and a month before the incident, his brother died.

But Judge McKone told him he must go to jail.

"You armed yourself deliberately with a weapon and returned to the toilet where you assaulted [Mr Hughes] with it causing some nasty scars around his ear," she said.