A MAN who threw away his shirt mid-fight and brandished a tyre wrench has been spared an immediate prison sentence following a successful appeal.

Bernie Sweeney was involved in a heated altercation with a family member in the middle of the street outside The Hawthorne pub on Orford Lane.

The pair had to be separated by onlookers and police were forced to use incapacitant spray to bring the fight to a close.

The 30-year-old was originally handed a six-month spell in prison at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on March 5 after pleading guilty to charges of possession of an offensive weapon and threatening behaviour.

Magistrates remarked that the weapon ‘could have caused high level of injury’ before passing their judgement.

But Sweeney’s sentenced was shortened and suspended following a successful appeal before Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday due to his ‘strong personal mitigation’.

Suzanne Payne, representing the crown, explained how the fight broke out on August 16 last year at around 12.50am and was captured on CCTV.

The fight occurred in the street outside The Hawthorne pub on Orford Lane

The fight occurred in the street outside The Hawthorne pub on Orford Lane

Footage played in court showed Sweeney grappling with a family member during a 10-minute brawl, with others attempting to separate the pair.

One camera captured the defendant pushing over an advertising board outside the pub entrance, while another saw him running towards the other man wielding a tyre wrench.

The pair were separated by police officers on arrival, which was also captured on body cameras.

Ms Payne revealed that Sweeney had nine previous convictions for 22 offences, the majority of which are for dishonesty offences in England and Wales such as theft and false representation.

Other previous convictions included battery, being drunk and disorderly and a number of driving matters in Ireland.

Daniel Bramhall, representing Sweeney, told the court how his client was ‘remorseful and ashamed of his actions’.

He explained that the tyre wrench was taken ‘spontaneously’ by the appellant after finding it in a friend’s car who had arrived to pick him up, with no intention of using it, just to frighten.

The appeal was heard before Liverpool Crown Court

The appeal was heard before Liverpool Crown Court

Mr Bramhall asked for the prison sentence to be suspended due to the ‘considerable detriment’ it was causing to Sweeney’s pregnant wife of 10 years and his four children.

He spoke of how Sweeney was the breadwinner as a self-employed decorator, with the lack of income affecting his and his family’s mental health.

Before passing his judgement, judge David Potter said: “The offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate – this was a serious public disorder with the production of an offensive weapon used to convey threat.”

However, he added: “We have reflected on the circumstances and read you pre-sentence report, and conclude that the sentence should be suspended due to your remorse shown, realistic prospect of rehabilitation and the continued detriment to wife and children.”

Sweeney, of Riverside Caravan Park in Queensferry, was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to undertake 35 rehabilitation activity requirement days and abide by an electronically monitored curfew.