A man was left with an extremely painful life-threatening injury after a homeless man slashed him with a broken glass bottle.
Leicester Crown Court heard that the 38-year-old victim was just “millimetres from death” after Lee Johnston randomly attacked him.
He was sentenced for five-and-a half years.
Johnston was trying to get money and food in Leicester during the early hours. He was turned away from a Taco Bell after he entered armed with the bottle, reports Leicestershire Live.
In court footage of Johnston smashing the window of the Taco Bell and then quickly stabbing the sharp end into the victim’s face on the pavement was shocking. The victim was just looking at the food on offer.
Johnston pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and damaging a window on August 4.
Johnston was previously convicted of robbing a mobile phone from a woman and beating her head with a bottle in 2016.
Steven Taylor, prosecuting, said: “The defendant can be seen [on CCTV] to get angry and stands on a seat, picks up a bottle and brandishes it at a member of staff.
“Johnston was turned away and left the shop, smashing the window.
“Before walking off he whacked the man on the face with it for no other reason than he was just angry.
“It was unprovoked and the complainant was an innocent bystander.”
At hospital, 35 stitches were inserted into a wound on the side of the victim’s permanently scarred face.
He said in a victim impact statement that it has “ruined” his life, as people avoid him and assume he is a “bad person” because of how he looks.
He added: “I’m scared to look at myself.”
During the hearing, the defendant said he was “completely sober” at the time but was on edge, having been followed around the city centre for quite a while – and added that he was not proud of what he had done.
Judge Timothy Spencer QC thanked him for his honesty, but said the fact he was sober might make the crime “even worse”.
The judge added: “To his regret, the complainant went to look at the menu and was in range of Johnston’s petulance when he thrust out with that broken bottle.
“The injury was devastating, deeply shocking and ugly and cut into an artery in his neck causing significant blood loss.
“Severing an artery in the neck can often lead to death.
“The act of yours saved the complainant from certain death.
Judge Spencer told Johnston “this is your day of reckoning” and jailed him for five years and six months.
Afterwards, Detective Sergeant Majid Zaveri, who led the investigation, said: “This was a serious offence resulting in significant injuries. The scars the victim has been left will be a constant reminder of that night.
“We hope this sentence gives Johnston time to reflect on his behaviour and the impact on others.”
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