Man needed 32 stitches to face after glass attack

A MAN who turned a party after an Easter egg hunt into a ‘scene from a horror movie’ by slashing his friend’s face with a glass bottle has been sentenced.

The Royal Court
The Royal Court

John Lannigan turned himself in to the police the following morning after learning that his victim had suffered serious facial injuries, which required 32 stitches.

Lannigan had been hosting an event for friends and their children during the afternoon of Easter Sunday and a small group of adults stayed at their house for the evening, the Royal Court heard.

The 42-year-old, who is originally from Glasgow, had been drinking since about 4 pm and became paranoid that people were talking about him behind his back.

He began ‘stumbling about’ and responding angrily to friends’ questions, prompting his wife to tell him to stop misbehaving. Lannigan then ‘lifted his hands towards his head and started making enraged screaming noises’, Crown Advocate Matthew Maletroit said.

He smashed a glass bottle into a kitchen cupboard before sweeping several more bottles on to the floor ‘like a man possessed’ before picking up a broken bottle and ramming it into the face of one of his friend’s.

His wife attempted to wrestle the bottle from him before several guests tried to keep the defendant on the floor in what was described by one witness as ‘a melée’. Lannigan then left his property.

Yesterday he was sentenced to 180 hours’ community service.

Advocate Maletroit said it had been a ‘senseless’ and ‘unprovoked’ assault fuelled by alcohol and asked the court to jail Lannigan, who had been on remand at La Moye for two months and 14 days, for 15 months.

In a statement read to the court, the victim – who required 32 stitches following the attack – said: ‘The whole ordeal has really freaked me out.

‘It was like a normal social situation that turned instantly into a scene from a horror movie.

‘I don’t know why he went for me in particular. I don’t think it made a difference who he attacked – he just had a rage that he wanted to get out in the menacing way he did.’

The following morning, Lannigan texted his victim offering an apology and later handed himself in to police headquarters admitting the assault.

Advocate Lorraine McClure, defending, said that Lannigan had made ‘good use’ of the time already spent in custody and had shown genuine remorse for his actions.

Asking the court to impose a non-custodial sentence, she added that Lannigan had been ‘very co-operative’ with police, had voluntarily attended the station and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

She also described the defendant as a ‘hard-working, dedicated family man’.

Delivering the court’s sentence, Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq, presiding, said: ‘This was a violent drunken assault with a bottle. It was unprovoked and took place during a social occasion.

‘The injuries caused were serious, requiring 32 stitches, although mercifully not as serious as they might have been.

‘Your behaviour after the assault was exemplary. You turned yourself in, you apologised and pleaded guilty. You have expressed, in every way you could, remorse.’

Mr Le Cocq added that the incident was ‘entirely out of character’ and said that while assaults involving weapons such as glass bottles would ordinarily require a jail term, he felt that Lannigan had enough mitigation in his favour that prison could be avoided.

He added: ‘Please take every opportunity that this affords you to address the offending behaviour’.

As well as 180 hours of community service, Lannigan was also handed a 18-month probation order.

Jurats Anthony Olsen and Pamela Pitman were sitting.

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