THE mayor of Wirral’s future stepson has walked free from court following a drink-fuelled assault on a female hotel worker at a charity ball.

Jack Terrence Nolan, of Buckingham Avenue, Prenton, was handed a two-year conditional discharge when he appeared at Wirral magistrates’ court on Monday, having previously pleaded guilty to assault and affray.

A number of character references were handed to District Judge Michael Abelson – who described it as a “wholly exceptional case” – including one from Wirral Council leader Phil Davies.

Police were called to the Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa – where Cllr Steve Foulkes and his consort fiancé Elaine Nolan were hosting a fundraising ball – at around 2am on Saturday, October 18.

The court heard that 18-year-old Nolan had been in the function room as staff were cleaning up after the event and appeared to be looking for something.

Amanda Cullen, prosecuting, told the court that a female member of staff had asked if Nolan was alright, to which he did not respond.

“Almost immediately when she turned her back, he shouted at her and said he wasn’t alright,” said Ms Cullen.

“He grabbed her ponytail and pulled it backwards and forced it forwards, causing her to bang into the table – this caused a lump to the hairline on her head.”

District Judge Abelson was told that Nolan had pulled her head back again and shouted, “You’re the one” but when asked later what he had meant, he said he did not know.

Two other members of staff had witnessed the assault and attempted to get Nolan off the female.

“He grabbed two forks from the table and tried to stab the witnesses with them,” said Ms Cullen.

“They both managed to stop him from hurting anyone else or himself until the night manager arrived. They managed to disarm him between them.”

Ms Cullen said the manager had “feared the safety of his staff was in danger” and took Nolan into the bar area to wait for the police.

He continued to behave erratically and was verbally abusive towards staff, attempting to pull a fire extinguisher from the wall.

The police arrived to find Nolan being restrained by staff.

“He was saying something incoherent about his mum being the mayor and her sorting the matter out,” added Ms Cullen.

During interview, Nolan said he could not remember the incident and said, “That’s just not me”.

He said he had drank two glasses of champagne when he arrived at the hotel with his mum and sister at around 7pm and had also had wine and tequila throughout the evening.

Ms Cullen added: “He said he must have drank a lot to get into that state as it was so out of character. He said he must have been a 10 on a drunken scale of one to 10.”

Throughout police interview, Nolan continuously asked how the victim was.

Magistrates had asked for “all options” reports to be produced ahead of sentencing on Monday but District Judge Abelson said he felt a conditional discharge was sufficient punishment.

He said: "I can see what's happened here. This young man who doesn't really drink alcohol has had drink given to him by the gallon and feeling nice and relaxed and having a nice evening, has just drunk himself senseless and hasn't been able to remember anything about it.”

References read out in court included Nolan’s volunteer work in Sierra Leone and Lourdes, leading disabled adult learning classes and completing a Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver award.

The court heard that Nolan has had to leave the air cadets as a result of the case and feared his future may be in doubt because of it.

Mr Abelson said: “I can’t remember the last time I read so many testimonials from such an extraordinary range of people, from parish priests to head teacher.

"This is a young man who has always demonstrated exemplary behaviour.

"Albeit the injuries were not major, they could have been more serious and it must have been a very shocking experience for this young lady who was just doing her job.”

Mr Abelson said the male members of staff who disarmed Nolan had shown “considerable courage” and had prevented things from becoming more serious.

“Had the injury or circumstances been more serious I'm afraid to say it would've been tough luck for you, I would've had to impose a heavier sentence,” he said.

Mr Abelson said he believed Nolan had learned a “valuable lesson” from the incident, adding: "It's a bit of luck when you consider the harm and injury that could've been caused.

"I can't imagine the embarrassment this will have caused for himself and his family."

Nolan was handed a two-year conditional discharge, ordered to pay £250 compensation, £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Cllr Foulkes is due to marry Ms Nolan in August.

The ball was held to raise money for a number of Wirral charities including Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Stick ‘n’ Step and the Foodbank.

Tickets for the event – which was attended by dignitaries from across Merseyside - were £40 each.