A MAN who sprayed CS gas after a brawl broke out inside his pub has been sentenced.
James Murphy, 32, former landlord at the Straw Hat in Great Sutton, was handed a three-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, when he appeared at Chester Crown Court last Wednesday.
He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of voluntary work in the community.
Judge Roger Dutton said although the gas may have put a stop to the fighting inside the pub, there would be ‘mayhem’ if every landlord took the same course of action, adding that the sentence sent out a warning to others.
“It may be that it was an effective deterrent, but it’s a dangerous substance. It’s only lawfully in possession of those who are professionally trained. This was a serious error of judgment”, he explained.
Mr Murphy was arrested at the pub following the brawl between two groups of males close to midnight on December 13 last year.
He claims he’d come to be in possession of the CS spray after finding it in a hedge outside the pub in the summer of 2008.
Having previously been robbed by an armed gang, who stole £10,000 from the pub’s safe, he decided to keep hold of the spray.
Defending James Bagby said: “He was misguided and reckless but acted with good intentions.”
The brewery which owns the Straw Hat withdrew Mr Murphy and his wife’s tenancy last month.