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Home   Tunbridge Wells   News   Article

Matthew Liles, former landlord of Crystal Palace pub in Tunbridge Wells jailed after glassing drinker has jail term cut

06 August 2014
by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas

A out-of-control pub landlord who glassed a drinker with a champagne flute has had his jail term cut by top judges on appeal.

Matthew Roberts Liles, 26, was landlord of the Crystal Palace pub, in Tunbridge Wells, in March last year when he smashed a glass in the face of Paul Batchelor.

The attack came despite the fact that Mr Batchelor had just bought Liles a drink.

Matthew Liles ran the Crystal Palace Inn in Tunbridge Wells

Matthew Liles ran the Crystal Palace Inn in Tunbridge Wells

At the time Liles, of Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, was on bail for his part in another assault, outside his premises on New Year’s Eve 2012.

He was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and perverting the course of justice, at Maidstone Crown Court.

In December last year, he was jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Today Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Bean and Mr Justice Foskett, sitting at the Criminal Appeal Court in London, cut that to four-and-a-half years.

“The total sentence of five and a half years was too long. In our view, a total sentence of four and a half years would have been appropriate” - Mr Justice Foskett

The court heard that, in the New Year’s Eve incident, Liles had punched a reveller outside his pub who was already being subjected to a racially motivated attack by two others.

Liles was cleared of having a racial motive.

There was then an attempt to persuade a witness to the offence to withdraw her testimony.

The glassing came about after the volatile landlord “wholly over-reacted” during an argument with Mr Batchelor in another pub, leaving him with a deep wound near his ear.

Lawyers for Liles today told the court that he was of previous good character and had gone off the rails because he was working too hard.

He was £20,000 in debt and was “supporting his parents financially”, as well as letting several family members live in his pub.

Mr Justice Foskett said: “The total sentence of five and a half years was too long. In our view, a total sentence of four and a half years would have been appropriate."

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