Washington thug struck man over the head with bottle, attempted to gouge his eyes out and bite his wife

A husband and wife in Washington were subjected to unprovoked attacks by a violent thug during a night out at the Middle Inn

David Anderson bit the woman then struck the man over the head with a bottle and gouged his eyes with his thumbs, leaving both injured and anxious.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the couple were at The Middle Inn, in Washington, on March 9 last year when the woman recognised Anderson as he was the younger brother of her best friend from school. She went to say hello to him and introduced him to her partner and, as he was alone, they invited him to sit with them.

However, after he started talking about how violent he could be, they asked him to move, saying their friend was coming and needed the seat. Later on, the man went home to let the dog out and the woman was outside the pub and was followed by Anderson, who started making “strange grunting noises” towards her.

She told him to go away and he approached her and she thought he was going to headbutt her and she held her hands up. She then felt pain to her right hand and realised he had bitten her. He then shouted “Get your man out of here.”

Anderson was escorted from the premises but shortly afterwards the woman got a Facebook message saying “He gets the backlash”. Later on that night, around 9pm, they noticed Anderson was back at the pub and he was told by several people, including the man, that he should leave.

David Robinson-Young, prosecuting, said: “The CCTV shows at 9.19 the defendant can be seen walking quickly into the part of the pub where the couple were. He picked up an empty glass bottle from a table and swung a blow to the man’s head.

“He then knocked another female to the ground and struck the man again with the bottle. The defendant got on top of him and pushed his thumbs into his eyes. Other customers pulled him away.

“The victim was stunned and bleeding on the floor. From the CCTV it’s clear the incident was entirely unprovoked. Without pause, he attacked him.”

The man suffered a cut, bruising and swelling around his eye and his vision was left blurred. He said the attacked worsened his depression and contributed to the breakdown of the couple’s marriage. He said the vision problems he suffered led to him having to change jobs as looking at a computer screen caused headaches.

The woman, who was left with puncture wounds to her fingers, said her PTSD had been triggered by the attack and she was left anxious, adding: “I’ve never experienced this level of violence. I find it all the more shocking because it was completely unprovoked.”

Anderson, 42, of Woodland Terrace, Concord, Washington, who has five previous convictions, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm on the man and was convicted of common assault on the woman. He was sentenced to 18 months suspended for two years with a six month curfew between 7pm and 7am and he must pay the man £500 compensation.

Recorder Simon Goldberg KC said he had come close to an immediate prison sentence and that he should regard it as his “last chance”.

Vic Laffey, defending, said: “He is ashamed of the way he acted. He suffers from epilepsy and was misguided enough to take on alcohol while on medication, which he should not have done.

“It’s clearly out of character for him to behave in this way. He has stopped drinking.”