A FATHER-OF-TWO who headbutted Jay Jay Taylor minutes before he was fatally stabbed with a champagne flute by another man has been jailed.

Judge Mark Brown, The Honorary Recorder of Preston, said the actions of Kayle Smith "could not be divorced from the events which followed".

Preston Crown Court heard how Mr Taylor suffered catastrophic injuries after a glass was thrust into his neck by murderer Jack Costello.

The 23-year-old died at Royal Preston Hospital hours after the attack at the former Esco-Bar in Darwen in the early hours of Sunday, January 28.

On Tuesday, Costello was found guilty of Mr Taylor's murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He will have to serve 19 years before being eligible for parole.

The court heard that in the build-up to the murder, Smith, the nephew of Costello's former partner Sharon Kitchen, approached Mr Taylor and exchanged words with him.

Mr Taylor had been talking to a friend of a friend, Zoe Broadhurst, at the bar before Smith leaned in and said: “Aren’t you too good to be talking to him?”

Mr Taylor did not react to that comment but the court heard 30-year-old Smith headbutted the victim. But Mr Taylor ‘did not appear to be overly concerned by that’.

But Smith spoke to Costello, who marched over to Mr Taylor and put his arm around his neck as if he was going to speak to him.

Costello, of Victoria Street, Rishton, bit the ear of Mr Taylor for about six seconds.

A number of people tried to stop Costello, including Ms Kitchen, who slapped him in the face.

Costello then thrust the glass into Mr Taylor's neck before throwing the stem at him.

Smith, 30, of Vale Street, Darwen, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Taylor thereby causing him actual bodily harm.

Defending, Daniel Prowse: "The tragic death of Jay Jay has fractured the community in Darwen. Kayle Smith expresses his sincere remorse and is sorry to the family of Mr Taylor.

"He is 30 years old and has no previous convictions or cautions and holds no criminal record.

"References upon him speak of his good character. He is married with two young children and has always been in employment.

"This was an isolated incident."

Mr Prowse continued: "Kayle Smith is a hardworking man and the main breadwinner of his family.

“The result of immediate custody would be devastating for his household.

“This is a tragic case, but I ask the court to not lose sight of the fact that it was in a moment of madness that he landed a single blow.

“The level of culpability he holds does not mean he should be jailed.

“This is a man that the courts will never see again.”

Sentencing Smith to 16 months in prison, Judge Brown said: “It was your attack that led to the chain reaction which resulted in Mr Taylor’s death.

“Your actions cannot be divorced from the events which followed.

“It was you that started the violence at the bar and it was your conduct that led to Mr Taylor losing his life.

“You can’t be divorced from the murderous events that followed."

Speaking after Smith was jailed, Det Chief Insp Richard McCutcheon said: “Kayle Smith’s head butt was the catalyst to the fatal attack carried out on Mr Livesey Taylor by Costello.

“Smith must live with the consequences of his actions and we welcome today’s court result.”