A PUBGOER who struck a man 11 times with a pool cue in a row over the rules of the game has been sentenced to a suspended term of imprisonment.

Lee Szula hit Kenneth Lyall on the head in a sustained attack at the Old House at Home in Otley Road, Shipley, on the evening of June 14 last year, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

Szula, 26, of Brow Foot, Shipley, pleaded guilty to unlawfully wounding Mr Lyall who walks with a stick after suffering a broken back some years ago.

The court was told that a dispute broke out between Mr Lyall and another man during a game of pool with a £5 bet on the result.

Szula become involved and pushed Mr Lyall, punched him to the head and hit him 11 times with a pool cue.

He had to be dragged away by a staff member and ejected from the pub.

Mr Lyall sustained a 3cm wound to his head that needed gluing in hospital and he lost a tooth in the attack. The incident had worsened his depression and left him suffering from panic attacks, the court was told.

Szula’s barrister, Roger Brown, said it was his client’s local pub and he had never caused any trouble in there before.

He had drunk seven pints of cider that day and there was already an argument in place between Mr Lyall and his pool opponent over the rules of the game when he became involved.

Szula had Asperger’s syndrome that made socialising difficult and he had feared he was about to be attacked in the row.

Mr Brown said it was an isolated incident and Szula accepted that his behaviour had been wholly irresponsible. He was very remorseful and had pleaded guilty to the offence at the first opportunity.

He had no previous convictions and Mr Brown urged the court not to send him to prison.

Judge Jonathan Gibson sentenced Szula to 20 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 120 hours of unpaid work and up to 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days with the probation service.

He said the effect of immediate custody would be disproportionate given that Szula had Asperger’s syndrome.

Judge Gibson warned Szula that if he committed any criminal offences in the next two years he faced a lengthy jail sentence.

He ordered him to pay Mr Lyall £360 compensation at £30 a month.