Rugby man jailed after Midas Lounge knife attack

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A member of staff at a Rugby bar was slashed across the face, suffering a wound which went right through his cheek, when he intervened in an incident between two customers.

His attacker Jason Coombs pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to unlawfully and maliciously wounding him and possessing a knife in a public place.

Coombs, 38, of Wood Street, Rugby, was jailed for 28 months after being given credit for his guilty plea.

Prosecutor Theresa Thorp said the incident took place in the smoking area of the Midas Lounge bar in Rugby town centre in April last year, when Coombs became involved in an argument.

The staff member, who believed Coombs was being racially abusive towards a woman, intervened to calm things down and told him he was ‘out of order.’

In an incident captured by a CCTV camera, Coombs reacted by reaching into his pocket and pulling out what the victim believed to be a knife and heard it click as it was opened.

“He slashed the member of staff across the left side of his face, and the complainant could immediately feel blood running down his face,” said Miss Thorp.

The victim, who said he was ‘in shock’ afterwards,’ suffered a deep 4cm wound to his face, and he needed four stitches to the inside of his cheek and nine to the outside.

Miss Thorp added that Coombs, who remained silent when he was interviewed about the attack, had convictions for a total of 164 offences, including wounding in the 90s, and was on licence from a prison sentence at the time.

Saleema Mahmood, defending, said: “He is extremely remorseful for the way he behaved.”

She said Coombs had fractured both of his heels in 2011, and had spent six months recuperating, and that night was ‘one of the rare occasions’ he had gone out socialising.

Of the weapon Coombs used, Miss Mahmood said: “He maintains it was keys, but he accepts he is to be sentenced for possessing a knife.”

Jailing Coombs, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “When you got into an argument with the member of staff, who worked there, stepped in with the aim of preventing any violence.

“Your reaction to that was to take a knife from your pocket and to slash his face.

“People who take out knives and then use them can cause very serious harm indeed, and it is a matter of fortune the harm was not even more serious in this case.

“I am told, and I accept, you are very sorry for what happened. But there are a number of aggravating features.

“This took place at night in a place where people were drinking and, most important of all, the man who was attacked was not someone who had been aggressive towards you but was an employee of the club who had stepped in to try to prevent violence.”