VIOLENCE flared at a New Year pub party when a man dressed as ‘Where’s Wally?’ whacked a teenager over the head with a walking stick.
A court on Monday ordered Aaron Knowles to pay £450 compensation to Jack Greasley (18), who suffered a one-inch cut to the top of his head which bled.
Knowles (29) had rounded off New Year celebrations at the Three Horseshoes in Leabrooks, wearing a fancy dress costume and carrying a stick like the children’s character Where’s Wally?.
Becky Mahon, prosecuting, told Chesterfield magistrates that Knowles lashed out after a fire alarm led to revellers gathering outside in the beer garden.
She said Knowles, wearing a red and white hooped top, bobble hat and glasses, struck the teenager once with the stick following a dispute captured on CCTV.
“He said he couldn’t remember why he did it and accepted his actions were unjustified. He said the complainant had been staring at him earlier and was looking for a fight,” added Ms Mahon.
Knowles, an unemployed roofer, of Bridle Lane, Leabrooks, admitted assault. He had a previous conviction for threatening behaviour.
He was ordered to do 120 hours’ unpaid work, with £450 compensation and £85 costs.
Phil Bloore, for Knowles, said he had been among a party celebrating New Year in Alfreton before moving on to Leabrooks.
He said: “He went outside with his brother for a cigarette and the complainant came out afterwards and slammed a plastic partition, causing my client to jump as he had his back to it, and words were exchanged.
“Unfortunately, a fire alarm later went off, possibly to do with the DJ’s smoke machine, and they went outside again and the assault took place,”
He added that Knowles, who has a partner and daughter, had been drinking moderately that night and the offence resulted from him losing his temper, rather then being ‘alcohol-fuelled’.