An off-duty pub worker who lost his job after turning up at the premises drunk and throwing punches at customers has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send him straight to prison.

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During the incident at the Rushbrooke Arms in Sicklesmere, Alexander Sims picked up peas in the kitchen and flicked them around and then spat on the floor when the manager refused to serve him and told him to go home, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

“He was acting in an obnoxious manner,” said Peter Gair, prosecuting.

When waitress Mlaine Frost approached Sims in an attempt to lead him away he had pushed her and had then started shouting “Come on, I’ll take you all on” to customers.

Sims was ushered outside by regulars at the pub and they had restrained him on the ground after he started throwing punches at them, said Mr Gair.

He said that Scott Duffield, who was with Sims, was also seen throwing punches at customers in the pub car park and after the pair had gone back inside the pub Duffield had picked up a flue from a stove and had swung it around.

The police were called and both men were arrested.

Mr Gair said the incident had upset a number of customers at the family-orientated restaurant and the manager had given two tables of customers free meals after they complained.

Sims, 26, of Hornings Park, Bury St Edmunds, admitted affray and common assault on Miss Frost and Duffield, 23, of Maltward Avenue, Bury St Edmunds admitted affray and breach of a conditional discharge.

Sims was given a four month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered to do 80 hours unpaid work in the community and to pay £200 compensation to Miss Frost.

Duffield was given a four month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered to do 50 hours unpaid work in the community and to pay £300 costs. He was also ordered to attend 10 sessions at an alcohol programme.

Charles Myatt, for Sims, said no-one had been injured and no damage had been caused during the incident which he accepted was “unpleasant”.

He said Sims, who lost his job as a result of his behaviour, had been receiving help for his alcohol problem and he was healthier than he had been for years.

“For the first time for a long while he has his life ahead of him and an opportunity to make something of himself,” said Mr Myatt.

Richard Potts, for Duffield, said the affray was the latest in a long line of incidents involving drink that his client had been involved in.

He said during the incident at the pub Duffield had stepped in after Sims pushed Miss Frost and had dragged him away.

He said Duffield had lost control after being hit in the face and had picked up the flue inside the pub and waved it around.

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