The Mount Pleasant Hotel, Aberdare
The Mount Pleasant Hotel, Aberdare

Man head-butted his sister and grabbed her by the throat in drunken rage, court told

He was ‘nine out of ten on the drunk scale’ and refused to leave the pub, Cardiff magistrates heard

A LIGHTING technician attacked his sister after refusing to leave the pub, a court has heard.

James Thomas, 35, who lives on Ynys-Llwyd Street, Aberdare, went out for some drinks at his local pub with his father.

At around 10.20pm that same evening, Mr Thomas’ sister, Hannah Thomas, drove to the Mount Pleasant Hotel in Aberdare to collect her brother who later said he was a “nine out of ten on the drunk scale”, the court was told.

Ms Thomas entered the pub and was met with abuse from her brother, who told her to “leave him alone”, as he became increasingly aggressive towards his sister, the prosecutor told the court.

After a couple minutes of arguing, Mr Thomas shouted “you want to go do you?” before grabbing his sister by the throat and lifting her off her feet, the prosecutor added.

Cardiff Magistrates Court was told how Mr Thomas proceeded to carry Ms Thomas out of the pub by her throat, then head-butted her in the nose, causing it to bleed as she fell into a parked car.

Mr Thomas, who has three young children with his ex-partner, admitted actual bodily harm (ABH), claiming it was “out of order” and a result of “stress and financial issues”.

When asked about his recollection of the night, Mr Thomas said he was embarrassed by his sister showing up, however claims he doesn’t remember grabbing Ms Thomas by the throat, the prosecutor added.

Despite the attack, probation officer Dave Watkins said in court that Mr Thomas is now on “good terms” with his sister, and that in a letter she wrote, Ms Thomas said she “doesn’t want to see her brother in prison” following the attack on June 8, 2022.

Mr Thomas’ lawyer, Tariq Sadiq, added how Mr Thomas is on anti-depressants, and has accepted he has a problem with alcohol. He also said Mr Thomas is struggling to find work but should have a new job in February.

The three magistrates adjourned for 30-minutes before returning and delivering their sentence.

Chairman of the bench Mr Nigel Buckland said it was a “difficult decision” in which a “custodial sentence was discussed”.

However, the court ultimately ruled to punish Mr Thomas through a community order of 18 months, where he will work unpaid for 160 hours and attend therapy sessions for a further 30 days.

Mr Thomas was also ordered to pay a government surcharge of £95 and legal fees of £85.