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Hoxton trainee accountant left two women scarred in comedy club attack

PUBLISHED: 11:22 15 November 2010

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A TRAINEE accountant who left two women permanently scarred after a drunken attack in a comedy club has been spared jail - but he will have to pay his victims £4,500 in compensation.

John Cherry, 28, of Provost Street, off City Road, Hoxton, hurled an ice bucket at a table where relatives Christina Paace and Leanne Treanor were sitting, sending shards of glass flying everywhere.

Both women were left with gaping facial wounds and Mrs Paace lost half her tooth during the incident on January 23 last year at Jongleurs comedy club, in Camden Lock, Camden Town, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.

They both remain scarred by Cherry’s violent outburst and have to use make-up and their hair to hide the injuries they suffered.

Cherry, who lost his job once employers heard what happened, was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

After examining the scar on 20-year-old Ms Treanor’s forehead and that of Mrs Paace, Judge Nicholas Riddell also ordered Cherry to pay £4,500 in compensation.

Judge Riddell said: “You behaved in an appalling way on that night.

“You caused great distress and fear to people who were enjoying an evening out and you have caused lasting trauma and suffering since then, particularly to the two ladies who were injured.

“No doubt the effects have been felt by their families and others present that night.

“These ladies suffered permanent injury, and over and above that, psychological damage of real significance.”

The judge told Cherry he behaved “boorishly” because he had drunk more than six pints of Guinness.

Judge Riddell said he must do 200 hours unpaid work in the next 12 months, pay £3,500 to Mrs Paace and £1,000 to Ms Treanor.

The court heard the incident took place as the last comedian took to the stage at around 10.30pm

Prosecutor Deanna Heer told the court Mrs Paace, who is in her mid 40s, and Ms Treanor were out celebrating a family birthday when they were attacked.

Cherry, who was on a first date with a new girlfriend, was sitting on a level above them when the melee began.

Ms Heer said: “Mrs Paace noticed some people in her party brushing themselves down, they had wet marks on their clothes.

“The defendant and his girlfriend spilt drinks over them.

“The girlfriend apologised but soon afterwards more drink was spilt over them and after several more spillages one of the party asked the defendant what was wrong.”

Cherry then began hurling items at the table below him, including his pitcher of Guinness and ice cubes.

He claimed lemon slices and ice were thrown up at him so he “lost his temper” and hurled the ice bucket down.

Mrs Paace suffered a cut to her forehead which went down to the bone and required 16 stitches.

She has had to spend £1,100 on dental treatment.

The younger woman was also slashed on the forehead.

Victim impact statements from both women told of how they have had to have counselling since the attack and suffered from sleepless nights.

Deborah Halliday-Davis, for Cherry, apologised on his behalf to the victims and their families who sat in court.

She told how soon after the comedy night, Cherry was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent surgery and weeks of chemotherapy.

After losing his trainee accountant job he was out of work for many months until he found a job as an internal audit executive at an insurance brokers firm, earning £40,000 a year.

His girlfriend, who was with him on the night, sat in the public gallery.

Cherry admitted two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on January 23 last year.


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