A ROYAL Navy engineer who struck another club-goer in the face with a bottle has walked free from court.
James Clarke, from Chorley, admitted striking Daniel Platt with a half full bottle of Budweiser but claimed he had acted in self-defence after the other man lunged at him first.
A jury at Liverpool Crown Court acquitted 26-year-old Clarke of wounding with intent and grievous bodily harm.
Clarke, who now lives near Southampton, denied both offences and was discharged.
During the four-day trial the court heard that Platt was left scarred after the incident in the Bamboogie Club, Wigan, on October 17.
Clarke was home on leave from the navy and was out with his friend Max Washington.
Washington began talking to a girl, Lauren McLoughlin, who was there with three friends, including Platt.
Clarke said: “He was trying to steal a kiss.”
Platt said she appeared unhappy but Clarke said he saw no ‘difficulty’ between them, nor had he seen her push away.
Clarke said Platt then came and barged him out of the way.
He said he went to stand with his friend Washington when Platt swore and pushed him in the chest. Clarke said: “He seemed very aggressive and agitated.”
McLoughlin pushed Platt away and put her hands across his chest, the court heard.
Clarke added: “He lunged at me and instinctively I defended myself. He had his arms outstretched and just came very quickly towards me.”
Clarke said he struck him with his left hand and then his right, which he had forgotten he had the bottle in. He denied intending to hit him with it.
When asked about hitting him again as he walked away, he said: “It all happened so fast. It was just instinctive to get rid of the threat.”
Clarke said the photo of the 12cm wound on Platt’s face was “sickening” and he felt “so much remorse.”