THE son of a senior borough Conservative has been handed a suspended prison sentence for his part in a pub punch up.

James Harley, whose father Patrick is leader of the Tory group in Dudley Council, was already the subject of a suspended prison sentence imposed for assault and theft when he lashed out at the Swan pub in Kingswinford on Christmas Eve.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court Recorder Timothy Raggatt QC told the 24-year-old he would spare him an immediate jail term because he appeared to have "turned a corner" in his life.

Harley, of Hazel Road, admitted affray and was given a nine month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, ordered to pay £1,000 costs and ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid community work.

Mukhtar Ubhi, for Harley, said: "He accepts his behaviour was stupid and irresponsible on this evening.”

Mr Ubhi told the court Harley now had a steady job and his partner was expecting their first child.

Oliver Woolhouse, prosecuting, said Harley went into the Swan with another man and after approaching the victim and asking him if he knew the whereabouts of a friend he slapped him and threw the chair.

A number of other people then became involved in the disturbance and one of the customers had to be taken to hospital for treatment to a gash to his head.

When questioned by police Harley, who had another previous conviction for assaulting a man in a pub, said he felt the victim had been "aggressive."