DJ reveals horror of derby day pub glass attack

Luke Edwards
Luke Edwards

A drinker who threw a glass into a pub DJ's face in a horrific derby day attack has walked free from court.

Luke Edwards, 23, caused a deep wound to Alex Ridley's nose when he hurled the missile at him in the Wheatsheaf pub, in Shiney Row, last April 5.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the pub was packed with revellers after Sunderland beat rivals Newcastle 1-0 at the Stadium of Light and Mr Ridley was providing the evening entertainment.

Edwards was caught on a customer's mobile phone camera dancing around the pub in a "silly" fashion with a friend before the threw the glass, seemingly without reason.

Prosecutor Rebecca Brown told the court: "Mr Ridley did not see what happened, he was DJ-ing when all of a sudden he was hit in the face and started bleeding heavily."

After the violence, Edwards warned a bar manager "if anyone grasses me I will be back to burn you and your pub down".

The court heard the attack has had a devastating effect on Mr Ridley as his DJ-ing career.

He felt sickened when his family and children went through the trauma of seeing his injured face and feels his behaviour at home has changed.

He can no longer work in the busy bars where he earned his living, providing entertainment for customers to enjoy.

Mr Ridley told police in a victim impact statement: "I had to give up my job in the pub and give up parties.

"I used to have residencies at various establishments where I would DJ. I have had to refuse functions and pass them on to other companies due to what happened to me.

"I no longer feel comfortable DJ-ing at functions where people who are drunk are."

Mr Ridley said he has worked just a handful of childrens' parties since he was attacked, meaning his earnings have massively reduced and he has been left with an obvious, two-inch scar on his nose.

He said the attack has impacted on his home and family life and that he constantly feels "on edge".

Mr Ridley added: "I didn't deserve what happened to me, I was only doing my job."

Edwards, of Park View, Shiney Row, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and intimidation of a potential witness.

Mr Recorder Nigel Sangster QC sentenced him to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 150 hours unpaid work, £2,000 compensation and £1,500 costs to be paid.

The judge told him: "It is clear you are normally a decent young man who works hard but on this night, no doubt because of the amount you had to drink, you behaved in not just an appalling fashion but in a criminal fashion.

"I have seen how you threw the glass at that gentleman, who was just doing his job.

"It was good luck rather than judgement that he was hit on the nose, rather than the eye but it caused a severe cut and left a scar.

"I accept what he says, that as a result of what you did, he no longer wants to DJ in pubs where people might be drinking, he restricts himself to childrens' parties and the like."

The judge said Edwards has never been in trouble for violent behaviour before and he was able to treat what happened as a "one off, stupid, criminal night of drunkenness".

Gavin Doig, defending, said Edwards and his family are "appalled" by his behavior that night, which he described as "lunacy".

Mr Doig said Edwards has a good job and still lives at home with a supportive family.