A MAN who launched a 'ferocious' attack on a woman in a York pub's toilets has walked free from court.

Carl Johnston, 38, of Fieldside Place, York, fractured the woman's nose and eye socket, caused a 1.5cm cut to her eyebrow and chipped three teeth during the assault at the Castle Howard Ox in The Groves, York Crown Court was told.

The Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, said he was a hard-working family man of previous good character, who had shown remorse and made an early guilty plea to causing grievous bodily harm to Chelsea Dickinson.

He jailed Johnston for two years but suspended the sentence for two years. He also ordered Johnston to pay £1,000 in compensation and carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work, and said he must also obey a curfew from 9pm until 7am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for the next four months.

He said it was a 'very serious matter,' with the complainant suffering 'very nasty' injuries after Johnston launched a 'ferocious' attack on her.

He said it probably would not have happened had Johnston not drunk an enormous amount after going out to celebrate the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Jessica Strange, prosecuting, said the incident started on the evening of March 13 last year when Johnston was dancing around in the bar of the pub and came very close to the woman's face.

She felt it was too close for comfort and moved away to a different area. Johnston's sister Gail subsequently spoke to Chelsea and it ended up with a 'tussle' between the two, in which drinks were thrown and glasses were smashed, leaving blood on the sister's face, and Johnston pulled his sister off.

Chelsea went to the toilet and five minutes later Johnston went in and confronted her, and punched her in the mouth and nose, causing her to fall backwards into a cubicle.

He then punched her four or five times more in the face. She was treated by paramedics and taken to accident and emergency at York Hospital for treatment to the injuries. She later needed emergency dental surgery.

Kevin Blount said in mitigation that Johnston was a family man who had pleaded guilty promptly and suggested his sentence should be suspended.