An NHS nurse who smashed her glass into a man's face after downing a bottle of wine and four gins on the first night after lockdown has been spared jail.

Nurse Rebecca Prior assaulted Charles Cocklin in the early hours at Canvas nightclub in Bournemouth.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard Prior, 47, had been out with friends, one of which had interacted with Mr Cocklin earlier in the evening.

CCTV footage from the Poole Hill venue, which was played in court, showed the defendant remonstrating with the man before hitting him in the face with the glass.

Prior, of Walpole Road, Bournemouth, avoided a custodial sentence at the hearing on Monday, June 13, having previously pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Judge William Mousley QC, who issued an 18-month community order, said the defendant had “thrust” the glass, which contained a drink, into the victim’s face “with some force”.

Prosecuting, Russell Pyne said the assault took place at around 1.30am on Saturday, September 4, last year.

Mr Pyne said that “rightly or wrongly” the defendant “thought that Mr Cocklin had touched a friend of hers”.

“The glass broke and Mr Cocklin sustained multiple cuts to his facial area as a result,” Mr Pyne said.

The prosecutor said: “The defendant walks off and was detained by security and then arrested by police.”

The court heard she repeatedly said the man “had been touching her friend” as she left the scene.

The victim, who is aged in his 30s and from Poole, told police he sustained “a number of minor superficial cuts and a deeper cut to his lip”.

Mr Pyne said no medical evidence had been provided and Mr Cocklin had not given a victim personal statement.

“There have been efforts to contact Mr Cocklin but calls have not been returned by him,” Mr Pyne said.

The defendant, who had no relevant or recent previous convictions, was “candid” in police interview, admitting the assault.

She expressed remorse and said she was “nine out of 10 drunk” having consumed a bottle of wine and three or four glasses of gin.

“She had thought the victim had been touching her friend,” Mr Pyne said.

Malcolm Gibney, mitigating, said: “This is an episode of shame as far as the defendant is concerned.”

He said up to the time of the incident the single mother had led a “pretty blameless and positive life”.

“The evening in question was the first night she had spent out socially since the beginning of Covid,” Mr Gibney said.

Mr Gibney said the CCTV showed Mr Cocklin being “persistent with her friends” and that her client’s perception was that there was inappropriate touching.

The barrister said a custodial sentence could cost Prior her career, adding that she had worked as a nurse for more than 20 years, including in the accident and emergency department.

“She had allowed herself to lack control on this one occasion,” Mr Gibney said.

Judge Mousley QC said Prior was sorry for her “unacceptable and criminal behaviour”, she was addressing her alcohol misuse and she was considered unlikely to reoffend.

The community order included a requirement to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of rehabilitation activity.

Prior was ordered to pay £300 compensation and £400 costs.