Lowestoft man jailed for wine bar attack

A Lowestoft man with a history of violent offences was jailed for seven months yesterday for attacking two men in a wine bar and trying to bite a police officer.

Barrie Hart had been drinking before he punched and slapped Robert Wicks and Matthew Brown in the Broadview Wine Bar in Oulton Broad on Tuesday.

He also struck a police officer after he was arrested.

Hart, 27, of Charter Way, was jailed after admitting actual bodily harm, common assault and assaulting a police officer. Magistrates heard he had 19 previous convictions for violence.

Lowestoft Magistrates' Court was told Hart, a father of two, had been drinking with a friend when he went into the wine bar.

Mitzy Bond, prosecuting, said Hart started abusing Mr Wicks and Mr Brown.

After asking Mr Wicks, a builder, outside for a fight Hart then slapped him around the face.

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Hart then caused actual bodily harm to Mr Brown by punching him twice in the face. Mrs Bond said: 'The next thing he [Mr Brown] remembers is waking up in hospital.'

After being arrested Hart tried to bite a police officer and while handcuffed assaulted one by striking out.

Hart had five previous convictions for actual bodily harm, 12 past offences for assault and assaulting police and two convictions for wounding.

Richard Mann, mitigating, said Hart had not been in trouble for 18 months and had stopped drinking as he had a young family with two children.

The court heard Hart lapsed into his old ways after he met an old friend and started drinking with him.

Mr Mann said: 'He has tried very, very hard to settle down. He bitterly regrets his actions. He is ashamed.'

Hart was jailed for four months for actual bodily harm, assault and assaulting a police officer. An extra three months was added for breaching a suspended prison sentence.

anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk