Sheffield pub menace jailed for attacking bar manager

A pub menace has been jailed for punching the manager of a Sheffield bar, while on a suspended sentence order for attacking a woman at a different city centre hostelry.

Thursday, 16th August 2018, 5:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th August 2018, 5:50 pm
The attack took place at The Bessemer in Sheffield city centre at around 7.30pm on January 26, 2018.

Lee Barber, 36, was banned from The Bessemer, when he tried to enter the Leopold Street pub at around 7.30pm on January 26 this year, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

"Because he's barred, the door staff prevented him from going inside. He was unhappy about this," said Louise Gallagher, prosecuting.

She added: "This was confirmed to him by the manager. He clenched his fist, and punched the manager to the face, causing a small cut to his lip.

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"He was followed by door staff, but ran off."

Barber, of Northern Avenue, Arbourthorne was arrested by police a short time later.

When interviewed, Barber agreed he was banned from the Bessemer and had been refused entry, but said he could not remember anything beyond that.

The court heard how in January of last year, Barber was sentenced to 22 months in prison, suspended for two years, for inflicting facial injuries on a woman during an attack carried out at another city centre pub.

"There's a clear pattern of violence in pub premises," added Ms Gallagher.

Barber was found guilty of charged of assault by beating and breaching a suspended sentence order during a trial held at Sheffield Magistrates' Court earlier this year.

Paul Fleming, defending, told the court that the manager Barber attacked was 'backed up' by two door staff at the time of the offence.

He said it was difficult for him to mitigate the offence itself because Barber still does not accept any responsibility for the attack.

Mr Fleming added: "He's aware, as he attends court, of the jeopardy he faces."

Judge Roger Thomas QC sentenced Barber to 18 months in prison, comprised of a three month sentence for the assault and the activation of 15 months of his suspended sentence.

"You have a very unhappy and unpleasant history of violence," said Judge Thomas, adding: "When that [suspended] sentence was imposed, you were told in clear terms that you were at risk for the next two years of going to prison if you committed another criminal offence.

"That's exactly what happened, almost a year to the day you committed this offence which puts you in breach of that order."

*South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Barber