A NEW Year reveller punched a man down the stairs of a South Tyneside bar – knocking him unconscious.
Gareth Bell was drinking in Bar 44 in Ocean Road, South Shields, in the early hours of New Year’s Day when he attacked the 21-year-old.
The 30-year-old was told the victim had “acted inappropriately” towards his wife before he hit him, which caused swelling to his face and head.
Police were called to the bar and Bell was arrested.
The other man was taken to South Tyneside District Hospital where he received treatment for his injuries.
Bell pleaded guilty to assault at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: “It was the early hours of January 1 when the incident happened in Bar 44.
“The victim was out with friends and the defendant was there with his wife – though the two parties did not know each other.
“Bell walked up to the victim and punched him in the face, causing him to fall down some steps. He lost consciousness for a short while and he said he can’t remember much it.
“He had minor injuries, swelling to the face and back of his head and a bruised arm and left side of his body.
“When he was taken to hospital, he told staff he had no recollection of events and had been drinking himself.”
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “There was a background to this which you have not heard.
“The defendant had been made aware that the other person involved had been behaving inappropriately towards his wife.
“That was his belief at the time and he told the police that. So there was a degree of provocation.”
Magistrates fined Bell, of Hogarth Drive, Washington, £333 and ordered him to pay £200 compensation, £85 costs and a £33 victim surcharge.