Published: 10:00, 13 October 2016
A clubber suffered a "horrendous" wound to his face after he was attacked by two brothers over a trivial matter.
A jury was not shown a photo of Sean Terry’s injury caused at a Dartford nightclub running from his eyebrow to his chin and needing 52 stitches, on the basis it could be too “inflammatory”.
Jailing Kenny Burke, 23, for nine years and Liam Burke, 27, for seven-and-a-half years, a judge branded it an “appalling criminal offence”.
The brothers denied wounding with intent but were unanimously convicted.
The three men had been at the former Crush Bar in Spital Street on May 5 2013. The victim was on the dance floor in the early hours when there was a “short physical exchange” between them.
“In a matter of seconds Kenny Burke struck Mr Terry in the face with a Corona beer bottle,” said prosecutor David Hewitt. “It was that blow that caused a horrific injury to the left side of his face.
“The gaping wound was all the way down the left side of his face. It began bleeding heavily.”
Liam Burke had bloodstains on his T-shirt and an injury to his hand. After his arrest he said: “I knew the geezer was trouble from first seeing him. He was staring at people and grabbing girls’ *****.”
He denied assaulting Mr Terry with a bottle or causing any injury to him.
Mr Hewitt said CCTV footage from the club clearly showed Kenny Burke striking the victim with the bottle and his brother following up with blows.
"You, Kenny Burke, had a weapon in your hand and you used it to devastating effect, ripping open the side of his face" - Judge Jeremy Carey
The club owner saw Liam Burke, who lives with his brother in Rye Close, Bexley, kicking and punching Mr Terry while he was on the floor.
Judge Jeremy Carey said: “There was no evidence of breaking the bottle before impact. It must have shattered or broken at the point these horrendous injuries were caused.”
He told the brothers: “On that early morning in the nightclub in full view of dozens of people you together attacked a man who was simply standing with a glass innocently in his hand... and not in a threatening way.
“A very minor disagreement escalated into an appalling criminal offence. As everyone saw on CCTV, you two overreacted grossly and went straight in to sort him out.
“You, Kenny Burke, had a weapon in your hand and you used it to devastating effect, ripping open the side of his face. He has a most appalling scar which will be with him for the rest of his life.”
Liam Burke suffered a serious head injury in a motorcycle accident and was accompanied in the dock at Maidstone Crown Court by an “intermediary” to assist him.
The judge said he was reducing Liam's sentence because his role was more subordinate and he had a serious medical condition.
The judge refused a request for a report on Liam after his lawyer said he needed an operation to replace skull he lost in the motorcycle crash two years ago.
“I wonder how it will affect his ability to survive incarceration,” he added.
“He suffers from headaches and fatigue. In no more than 10 seconds on that night he acted out of character.”
Liam Walker, for Kenny Burke, said there was evidence that while his client acted under a perceived threat of violence, he used excessive force.
“In the last 12 months he has become a father,” he said.
“He regrets his actions and it has ruined his life.”