A man launched an “exceptionally violent” attack in a Moray bar after becoming irate during a game of pool.
Owen Smith, from Buckie, assaulted two men in the town’s Pub in the Square after one of them moved the cue ball while he was playing.
The 23-year-old retaliated by throwing the ball at one of the men before using the cue as a weapon – snapping it on one of his victim’s arms and then throwing what remained of it across the room.
Yesterday the self-employed businessman was spared a prison sentence at Elgin Sheriff Court after he admitted two charges of assault.
Sheriff Gary Aitken said: “These were exceptionally violent offences. It’s only because of your young age and your relative lack of record that I am prepared to consider anything other than an extensive custodial sentence.”
Smith and the other men had been drinking in separate groups in the bar on Sunday, March 10.
Fiscal Rowena Carlton said one of the men moved the cue ball on the table as they walked past while a game was in progress.
She added: “As a result, the accused picked up the ball and threw it at the complainer, narrowly missing him.
“He then ran towards him and pushed him to the back of the head.
“He then obtained a pool cue and swung it at the other complainer, which struck his arm. Such was the force of that, it broke the cue in half.
“This has then developed and the accused began repeatedly punching the first man on the head and body.”
The incident was captured on the town-centre pub’s CCTV cameras.
Solicitor Ben Thom explained said his client became angry when the two men, who he did not know, were “disruptive” in the run-up to the incident.
Mr Thom added: “He has taken exception to the complainer moving the cue ball and disrupting the game, which sparked this rather violent episode.
“He’s extremely embarrassed. This was an incident fuelled by alcohol and is not in his normal nature, but the severity of this is accepted.”
Smith, of Victoria Street in Buckie, was ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work.