‘He’ll be scarred for life’ – Arlesey dad’s words after Biggleswade builder admits glassing cousin at Osinsky’s bar in Hitchin over family grudge

Luke Kiteley, 26, was given a 20-month suspended jail sentence at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday.

Luke Kiteley, 26, was given a 20-month suspended jail sentence at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday. - Credit: Archant

An Arlesey dad has told how his son is ‘scarred for life’ after being glassed in a Hitchin town centre bar over a family grudge.

Builder Luke Kiteley – who is 26 and now lives in Havelock Road, Biggleswade – punched and glassed his cousin Robert Kiteley in the face at Osinsky’s in Market Place on May 2, leaving him with a scarred nose.

And when Luke was given a 20-month suspended jail sentence at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday, Recorder Hodge Malek QC said it was ‘ridiculous’ that a dispute between Luke’s father and Robert’s father had now passed on to their sons.

Referring to the older Kiteleys, Mr Malek said: “At some stage the two brothers will have to put a stop to this feud or it will affect their kids’ lives.”

He told Luke Kiteley: “I hope your generation can just put to one side whatever the feud is. The last thing anyone wants, particularly your dad and uncle, is for the next generation to take on the dispute between themselves. It’s ridiculous it’s going on to the next generation.”

Robert Kiteley’s father told the Comet afterwards that there was no feud from his side, and said that a better description would be a grudge held by his brother’s family after he set up his own taxi firm.

“It’s just a grudge against us because we’re doing really well,” he said.

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“I run a business, my brother runs a business. But you won’t see any rubbish from me about anybody, I run a nice business.

“I can’t watch the CCTV because it’d be too painful. When your son gets glassed you don’t realise the pain it actually causes. My poor son has paid the price for us doing well. He’ll have a scarred face for the rest of his life.”

In addition to the 20-month sentence, which is suspended for two years, Mr Malek ordered Luke Kiteley to carry out 280 hours’ unpaid work and imposed a six-month 8pm-to-6am curfew, enforced with an electronic tag.

He also ordered him to pay £1,200 to his cousin and £425 in costs, and imposed a restraining order preventing him from contacting Robert for two years.

The court heard that the two cousins were at Osinsky’s separately around midnight over the May bank holiday weekend, and that Robert Kiteley was playing pool with a group of friends.

Luke Kiteley, described as extremely drunk, approached Robert and coarsely insulted him and his father. When Robert said he would see him later and turned around to end the conversation, Luke swore again and said: “I can kill you.”

Prosecutor Elizabeth Cobb told the court: “Robert was then punched by Luke with his left arm and immediately afterwards he pushed an empty glass in his hand into Robert’s face.”

The glass smashed and fragments that flew off cut the head of one of Robert Kiteley’s friends, Matthew Price. An eyewitness told the Comet at the time that ‘there was so much blood everywhere you couldn’t actually see the wooden floor’.

Robert was left with cuts over his nose, right eye and forehead, which were glued and stitched, but he still has scarring on his nose. The court heard that he still suffers pain, finds it hard to concentrate and has vivid dreams nightly.

Victoria Sheppard-Jones, mitigating, said the defendant was remorseful and had no previous convictions.

“It was an isolated incident, out of the blue,” she said.

“There has been this background but no issues of violence or the like prior to this. It was completely out of character.”

Luke Kiteley pleaded guilty to one charge of causing grievous bodily harm to Robert Kiteley and to one count of common assault on Matthew Price when he appeared before Stevenage magistrates on July 22.

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