Barbecue man’s eye dart agony

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A WIGAN barbecue ended in horror when a guest’s eye was impaled by a flying dart, a court heard.

The missile hit Martin Robinson in the face, penetrating his right eyeball and shocked partygoers called for an ambulance to rush him to hospital.

The victim had to undergo several operations to save his sight, still has to wear a contact lens and faces further surgery, said Harry Pepper, prosecuting.

Liverpool Crown Court was told about Mr Robinson’s agonising ordeal after 29-year-old Neil Smith admitted recklessly throwing the dart.

Mr Pepper said that the incident happened on the afternoon of June 4 last year when the two men were with mutual friends at a barbecue at a house in Gidlow Street, Hindley.

There was a dart board on the wall in the yard and some young women started throwing six darts at a time at the board.

Mr Robinson decided to have a go but one of the darts bounced off and hit Smith in the chest.

Smith picked it up and, after asking what Mr Robinson had been doing, said to him “you better start dancing.”

He was waving the dart round and it came out of his hand and went into the victim’s eye, said Mr Pepper.

Smith, of Deansgate, Hindley, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on the basis of recklessness.

Sentencing him to eight months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, Judge Stephen Clarke said that he hoped the victim makes a complete recovery.

He said that serious harm had been caused and the offence consequently crossed the custody threshold but in the circumstances he would suspend the term.

The judge also ordered Smith to carry out 100 hours’ unpaid work.

Kevin Liston, defending, said that Smith has no previous convictions apart from motoring offences. He had been drinking and had not intended to cause any harm. He was immediately apologetic and is genuinely remorseful.