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Ramsey man avoids jail after pushing party guest's face into fire pit

Victim left with scarring to his head due to burns

Report by BBC Isle of Man

A man who pushed a birthday party guest's face into a fire pit during a row over the island's native language has been ordered to pay his victim £1,000 in compensation.

Jordan Butler, 29, punched the man twice before the pair became involved in a struggle in the early hours of 7 April 2023.

Douglas Courthouse heard, after pulling the man to the ground, Butler used both hands to push the side of his victim's face into the pit, which contained hot embers.

He was sentenced to 13 months in prison, suspended for two years, along with a two-year supervision order.

The court heard Butler, of North Shore Road in Ramsey, was attending a birthday party at a house in the town when he became involved in a "heated" conversation with another guest.

The two men went outside where Butler attacked the victim, punching him several more times during the ensuing struggle, before pushing his head into the pit.

The court heard the 29-year-old briefly went back into the house, telling other guests that he had been "attacked", before stepping on the fingers of his victim, who was still on the floor, as he left the property.

When arrested in July, Butler said while he could not remember the incident, if there had been an assault at the party "it likely would have been me".

He later pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm.

The court was told the victim had been left with scarring to his head due to burns, now struggled with panic attacks and a fear of violence around him, and had also "lost his love of the Manx language".

Sentencing Butler, Deemster Graeme Cook issued him with a five-year restraining order forbidding him from contacting the victim and ordered him to pay £250 in prosecution costs.

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