A MAN has been spared a trip behind bars for wounding another man in an argument over music because it took three years to bring him to justice.

Helen Towers, prosecuting, said the victim had to have seven stitches in a cut to his right eyebrow after Luke Kyle Stephenson punched him.

The 29-year-old had shouted: “We have had to put up your music all night” and asked him to turn it down when he was a guest at the victim’s home.

Stephenson, of Fenton Lane, Sherburn-in-Elmet, pleaded guilty to wounding at York Crown Court.

“Because of the time it has taken the authorities to bring this to court and the efforts he has made to turn his life around, it would be wrong now to lock him up,” said the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris.

He passed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered Stephenson to pay £500 compensation to the victim.

Ms Towers said police tried to interview Stephenson in March and April 2018, following the incident on March 11, 2018.

The judge said police didn’t arrest Stephenson until February 2019 and didn’t send a file to the CPS for two more months.

The CPS finally decided to charge Stephenson in January 2021.

Defence barrister Victoria Smith-Swain said Stephenson had moved away from the area shortly after the incident to start a new life.

He had changed his phone number to get away from his then associates and not to avoid the police.

He was working and police could therefore have found him.

He had abstained from drinking following the incident.