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A Queenstown bar-goer smashed a pint glass into a man’s neck, causing a gaping 10cm gash, then punched him in the head.
Zachariah Alexander Harry George Sadler-Smith, 27, appeared in the Invercargill District Court last week after pleading guilty to one charge of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
On March 20, the defendant was at a bar in Queenstown.
The victim was there drinking with friends, when the defendant approached him and asked where he could go to smoke.
The victim pointed towards the beer garden but told Sadler-Smith he could not take his drink outside.
When Sadler-Smith returned, he sat with the victim and his friends for about an hour before they went to the dance floor.
Later, the victim walked towards the bar and met Sadler-Smith again.
The defendant became aggressive and the victim threatened to call the bouncers.
There was a brief standoff between the two men before the victim turned to walk away.
As he did, Sadler-Smith smashed his beer glass into the victim’s neck.
He then punched the man in the head and was escorted out of the bar by security.
The altercation caused a 10cm cut which required 28 stitches.
The court heard the victim was on a working holiday and had been in the country for only a few weeks.
The glass severed a nerve and the victim might lose the use of his trapezius muscle.
Sadler-Smith often drank to excess while on anti-depressants and had consumed 20 standard drinks before the offending, the court heard.
"It’s just a fluke of luck that he is not here for a charge of manslaughter," Crown prosecutor Olivia Taylor said.
Judge Russell Walker agreed.
"This is a very serious charge and if not for sheer good luck [events] could have had fatal consequences," he said.
The judge took into account the defendant’s remorse and clean criminal record.
"You said it’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in your life.
"I don’t doubt that."
He sentenced Sadler-Smith to 10 months’ home detention and ordered him to pay $5000 in emotional harm reparation.
The court heard, as a result of the incident, the defendant might be deported.
firstname.lastname@example.org , PIJF court reporter