A STUNTMAN'S dive through an Ilkley restaurant window could have ended his lucrative film career, magistrates heard yesterday.

Lyndon Helliwell's dramatic exit from Brown's restaurant in The Grove, Ilkley, following an argument with his ex-fiancee, had left him needing surgery to rebuild his left knee after crashing through the half-inch thick glass.

Helliwell, 30, of Ridley's Fold, Addingham, attended court on crutches with his left leg in a brace and heavily sedated with morphine. He pleaded guilty to assaulting Sophia Dorothy Jackson after the Crown Prosecution Service had withdrawn two other charges of assault against Susan Victoria Laxton and Steven Harvey and a charge of criminal damage.

The court heard how his former girlfriend Miss Laxton was with Miss Jackson in the restaurant on October 17 last year.

Prosecutor Ewan McLachlan said Miss Laxton had been enjoying a meal and at about 11pm she left the table to go to the toilet.

"She saw Helliwell and stopped to ask him how he was. Helliwell leant forward and whispered a suggestive comment in her ear. She told him she was disgusted and walked away," said Mr McLachlan.

"The argument developed after Helliwell approached Miss Laxton a few minutes later and asked her to return the engagement ring he had bought her. She refused and it was at this point that Helliwell grabbed her and pinned her against the wall by her throat," said Mr McLachlan.

The court was told that Miss Jackson then approached him and told him to leave her friend alone. Helliwell then lashed out, punching her in the face and kicking her in the mouth. Miss Jackson had to have dental treatment after the attack.

Mr McLachlan said: "It was then he was confronted by four other men. The owner of the restaurant, Chris Brown, managed to separate them all after they had been rolling around on the floor.

"It looked like Helliwell was going to leave the building but he ran across the restaurant, jumped onto a chair and dived through the window."

Phillip Hirst, defending, said Helliwell was ashamed at what he had done.

"He was a regular customer at Brown's. He even went to the police to change his bail conditions so he could go and apologise and pay for the damage he'd done."

Mr Hirst told the court that Helliwell, a former tiler, had invested his life savings of £25,000 in training to be a stuntman and had appeared in the recent James Bond movie and on TV in many films and dramas.

After jumping through the window Helliwell had suffered a fractured patella and had snapped tendons in his knee. His cruciate ligament had collapsed because of the pressure.

Mr Hirst said that Helliwell had also been to see a neuro-surgeon because there was an abnormality caused by an old head injury which sometimes caused him to behave erratically, but added it was no excuse for his behaviour.

Bingley Magistrates told Helliwell his behaviour had been unacceptable on that night and fined him £300. He was ordered to pay £100 compensation to Miss Jackson and costs of £40.

He also agreed to be bound over to keep the peace for 12 months in the sum of £200.

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