A MAN used a bar stool as a weapon in a Portland pub, a court heard.

At a sentencing hearing, Dorchester Crown Court was told that 46-year-old Peter Jonathan Hirst, picked up the stool and used it to hit his victim Gary Norman. Hirst, of High Street, Portland, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The incident unfolded in the toilets at the Britannia Inn in July last year following a verbal exchange between the pair.

Prosecuting, Nicholas Robinson said: “The victim was knocked to the floor, and appeared to have lost consciousness.”

Mr Norman, who plays pool for England, was left with swelling and redness to his shoulder blades, a temporary loss of sensation in his right hand, a severe whiplash injury and a bruised spinal cord.

He still suffers from poor sleep and is apprehensive about going out at night, Mr Robinson said.

In mitigation Mark Ruffell said that Hirst, who had drunk up to 15 pints of lager when the attack happened, has since given up alcohol. He said: “He is very sorry and he knows this is unacceptable. There was a degree of provocation and that must have been what made him snap.”

He added: “He feels very ashamed of what he has done and fully accepts the victim did not deserve any of what took place.”

Judge Roger Jarvis handed Hirst a prison sentence of 32 weeks, suspended for one year.

He ordered him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay compensation of £750.

Judge Jarvis said: “It is your good fortune as well as the victim’s that what you did didn’t result in greater injury.”