[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
No jail term for weeping criminal
Liverpool Crown Court
The judge said he had seen genuine remorse in Hardman
A man who was spared a prison sentence because he cried in the dock has admitted that he was weeping for himself and not his victim.

Daniel Hardman, 21, broke down in court after he was sentenced to six months in prison for attacking a pub landlord.

Judge Denis Clark at Liverpool Crown Court called him back and suspended the sentence after seeing his remorse.

Hardman, of Leigh, Greater Manchester, told the BBC that he did not deserve to be in prison.

He will now serve 200 hours community service for pushing a glass in the face of licensee Christopher Glover at the Wheatsheaf pub in Leigh last September.

He caused a gash to the 35-year-old's lip which had to be glued shut. The attack was witnessed by Mr Glover's children.

My job is hard enough without people thinking they can attack me and then get away with it by turning on the waterworks in court
Christopher Glover

Hardman also admitted witness intimidation - threatening the victim about the impending court case.

Mr Glover said the judge's decision was ridiculous.

Hardman told BBC Radio Five Live he was crying for himself because he did not want to go to prison.

Asked if he was upset about his victim, he replied: "No, I was just more bothered about going to prison."

Asked how he would answer critics who said it was a soft sentence, he said: "I don't deserve to be in prison. At least I don't think so, not with what people get away with nowadays."

'Green light'

Mr Glover said the judge had "given a green light" for people to attack landlords.

He added: "My job is hard enough as it is without people thinking they can attack me and then get away with it by turning on the waterworks in court.

"A lot of people would have given him a hiding, but I can't do that because I would lose my job, whether I cried or not.

"I did things by the book, and he's totally got away with it. That's British justice for you."

Judge Clark said he had seen "genuine regret and remorse" in Hardman.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific