A MAN has avoided jail after a fight at a convenience store.

Dean Barber was arrested following a fracas which started outside Costcutter, in London Road, Southend.

During the row, he smashed bottles of alcohol inside the store worth £200 and was later charged with criminal damage and using threatening or abusive behaviour.

The court heard Barber originally tried to stop the fight on April 8, but was later arrested after losing his temper.

He was also charged with flooding a cell by making the toilet overflow at Southend police station after he was arrested. Alan Hurst, mitigating at Southend Magistrates’ Court, said his client had been outside the store when a friend got into an argument with another group.

He said: “Mr Barber went over and used words such as ‘leave it out mate’ with his hands stretched out, whereupon one of the strangers punched him in the face, knocking out a tooth.

“It’s unfortunate to say that at that point, he saw red.”

He said his client had then followed the culprit into the Costcutter and that is how the offence took place.

He added: “He started out almost being a UN negotiator and ended up being the only person arrested.”

Barber, 46, of Northville Drive, Westcliff, pleaded guilty to all three offences.

He was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work, pay £95 costs, and £50 compensation to the shop.