A 21-YEAR-OLD man who hit a friend in the face with a bottle in a Stourbridge nightspot after he took offence at a "tasteless joke" has been spared jail.

James Whitehouse saw red in the Chicago club after his pal Lewis Gormley decided to take a swig from his bottle of beer while he was in the toilet, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

David Lees, prosecuting, told the court: “When he came back the bottle was returned to him by Mr Gormley who made a comment in fun which he did not find amusing.”

He said Mr Gormley then felt a blow to his left cheek just below the eye and there was a scuffle between the two young men that was broken up by others on the scene.

The bottle did not break but it left Mr Gormley with a small cut on his face that was treated at hospital, added Mr Lees.

Recorder Peter Cooke told Whitehouse, of Abberton Close, Halesowen: "You are a decent lad with good prospects and I deal with this as a one off aberration.

"You were not misbehaving and you were not paralytic drunk. A tasteless joke was aimed at you which you took badly and you lashed out."

"There are far better ways of manifesting your displeasure but, to a large extent, the victim was the author of his own misfortune."

Whitehouse - a man of previous good character - admitted wounding and the Recorder placed him on Supervision for a 12 months.

Nigel Stelling, defending, said: "He understands the gravity of what he did that night but he is an industrious, hard working young man at heart."

He said Whitehouse was fully aware of the fact that if he ever committed a similar offence again he would be at great risk of going into custody.