AN 18-YEAR-OLD who struck a person with a bottle during an argument over a drug deal and caused £11,000 worth of damage after smashing up a charity property has avoided jail.

Ewan Bunce, of Chatham Close, Salisbury, admitted offences of criminal damage, possession of a blade in a public place, actual bodily harm (ABH) and possession of class B drugs. He appeared at Salisbury Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, March 13.

The actual bodily harm offence took place at the back of the King’s Head Inn in Salisbury on May 24 last year where a “conflict” had arisen over a cannabis deal. The defendant carried out a “single strike” to the victim with a bottle causing cuts and lacerations to their face.

The criminal damage offence happened on August 20 at accommodation provided by charity Alabare, where Bunce was living at the time.

Tom Power, prosecuting, said £11,000 worth of damage was caused. This included £7,000 of damage to a window. The court heard the damage had been covered by insurance.

Staff had taken a machete from the flat, which had angered the defendant who then “smashed up the flat” using what was described as a metal pole.

Mark Ashley, defending Bunce, said the 18-year-old had found himself “under pressure” from drug dealers and he had smashed up the room because the machete, which he had been looking after for someone, had been removed and he feared the consequences.

The court heard the drug offence was in relation to a small amount of cannabis. The possession of a bladed article, a lock knife, happened on October 17. Mr Ashley said the defendant had been told to hold on to it by a drug dealer.

Mr Ashley said: “What he has managed to do is get away from these people.”

He told the court, when the offences occurred Bunce had been undiagnosed and unmedicated for ADH and other conditions. He said the defendant, who had been 17 at the time of the offences, was “reacting very well to medication”, engaging in college work and with the probation service.

Judge Andrew Barnett described two of the offences as “extremely serious”. He said the incident of ABH where a bottle was smashed in someone’s face, had been done “quite needlessly”.

Sentencing Bunce to a six-month suspended sentence, which he said would “hang over” his head for the next two years, he said: “If you commit any further offences you will be in breach of that sentence and brought back and go to prison for those six months and anything on top of that you deserve. I hope that is not going to happen.”

Bunce was ordered to do a Thinking Skills programme, complete ten rehabilitation days and 80 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Barnett said: “I hope no court sees you again.”