Two men have been jailed after a man was hit multiple times and glassed in a nightclub – for a death he was not responsible for.
Kerry Lewis and Jamie Stephenson attacked Christopher Manning when they spotted him in Skinny Dippers in Weston-super-Mare.
After Lewis hit him with a glass three times, Stephenson inflicted a further three blows.
Following the attack Mr Manning was contacted and received offers rising to £40,000 not to cooperate with a prosecution.
But he refused to be bought off, and ultimately the men pleaded guilty to their crimes.
Lewis, 31, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent of Mr Manning on July 20 last year.
He also admitted witness intimidation and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Stephenson, 26, also of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to wounding and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Judge Martin Picton jailed Lewis for nine years and six months, and Stephenson for three years and 10 months.
Both men were handed life-long restraining orders to keep away from Mr Manning.
He told them: “I have to sentence the two of you for a cowardly and savage attack upon an unsuspecting victim.
“You, Kerry Lewis, struck your victim three blows to the neck with the glass that you were holding, causing a cut that fortunately – whilst serious – was not as serious as it might have been and probably not as serious as you intended.
“You wounded your victim and intended when doing so to cause him really serious harm.
“You, Jamie Stephenson, then joined in as well, punching an already injured man.”
Sarah Regan, prosecuting, said the background was that in 2012 Mr Manning worked as door staff at a Weston-super-Mare club and was one of two men who ejected Joseph Williams, known as JoBo.
During the eviction, Mr Williams fell and hit his head and died a few days later from injuries in the fall.
Miss Regan told the court: “Christopher Manning was arrested in relation to that incident, but he was not charged with any offences.
“Despite that, Mr Manning received a number of threats during the course of the investigation and as a consequence he left Weston-super-Mare for two years.
“He returned four or five years ago and following his return he had received no threats or incurred any difficulties in relation to the incident with Williams.
See the crime rates in your neighbourhood, powered by In Your Area:
“It seems, however, that Kerry Lewis and Jamie Stephenson still harboured a grudge against him for what they believed was his part in the death of their friend.”
The court heard in the attack at Skinny Dippers Mr Manning sustained a cut to his neck which required 10 sutures at Southmead Hospital.
Though the defendants fled the scene they were identified via the club’s CCTV.
What followed was described by the judge as a “campaign of threats” by Lewis and then offers of cash to Mr Manning to withdraw his support for the prosecution.
Figures of up to £40,000 were mentioned and even an offer to fund the victim and his family a holiday when any trial was listed.
The court heard the men tried to pervert the course of justice via illicit phones they obtained on remand in HMP Bristol.
Harbinder Lally, defending Lewis, said his client’s guilty plea showed remorse and conceded there was no justification for his actions.
Mark Worsley, defending Stephenson, said his roofer client had demonstrated “immaturity and stupidity” when he had drank too much.