A CHESTER man was told he avoided jail "by a hair's breadth" after attacking his legal adviser  with a bottle during a court case. 

Appearing at Wrexham Magistrates Court, Michael Bright, of Cornwall Road, Upton, pleaded guilty to an assault charge following the incident which took place at Chester Family Court on January 24. 

Justin Espie, prosecuting said Gareth Clancy was working as a legal adviser on a case which involved Bright, 21, seeking access to his child. 

At around 3pm, Bright became abusive towards the bench after a verdict was not given in his favour.

He swore and answered back at magistrates and had to be restrained by Mr Clancy before kicking the witness box on his way out of court. 

He then returned to court and threw an orange Lucozade bottle at Mr Clancy which struck him on the head causing a small cut. 

A victim impact statement by Mr Clancy was read out in court by Mr Espie which said he had worked in the family court for 15 years.

Mr Clancy said Bright had not been particularly problematic before and that the injury to his head was not serious and he returned to court the next day.

However, he described the incident as "the worst I have ever encountered in court".

"I witnessed a total loss of control from a man who had earlier in court denied he had any anger management issues," said Mr Clancy.

"The findings of the court were right and vindicated by his subsequent actions.

"To me it is inexcusable that someone working in court should have to do so under the threat of violence.

"My concern going forward is that magistrates and judges are open to being intimidated, bullied and harassed.

"If the fear of violence is present in the court room I am highly concerned going forward."

Mr Clancy, who stated that he did want any compensation, added that he would like the court to view the CCTV footage of the incident although this was not possible. 

A probation report said that Bright had suffered "a build up of emotions" and that he was disappointed with his behaviour. 

He had asked to apologise to the victim and accepted his behaviour was unacceptable. 

Probation officer, Pam Roberts said Bright had a "strained relationship" with his parents and had not worked for six months.

He had a long history of cannabis use and used it daily as he felt it helped him get to sleep and was described as an "isolated person". 

Patrick Geddes, defending, said his client had worked as a joiner and roofer and was "truly ashamed to be before the courts". 

Sentencing Bright to a two year community order with 300 hours unpaid work, hair of the bench, Jonathan Sankey, said: "It was a hair's breadth away from being custodial".

Bright will also have a 20 day rehabilitation requirement concentrating on his drug use and anger management skills. 

He will also pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.