A DRUNKEN businessman threatened a group of friends on a night out in Hereford with a broken bottle, Worcester Crown Court heard.

Martin Broomhall spat part of a hamburger at a woman, then challenged a man to a fight.

He deliberately smashed the bottle on a pavement before following the group into a chip shop in Hereford carrying his makeshift weapon, said prosecutor Samantha Crabb.

He began shouting and swearing before police alerted to the scene arrested him.

Broomhall, aged 34, of Ferry Lane, Fownhope, Herefordshire, was appealing against a sentence of three months imposed by Hereford magistrates.

Judge John Cavell dismissed his appeal but reduced the jail term to two months because he pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon and threatening behaviour.

The judge said his behaviour was disgraceful and added: "This was a sustained course of aggression against a perfectly innocent group of people enjoying themselves.

"You must learn that the courts will not tolerate this sort of street violence."

Broomhall, who runs his own window fitting company, first became a nuisance near a taxi rank on November 2 last year, said Miss Crabb.

After spitting and throwing the hamburger at a woman without provocation, he challenged Nick West-Guall to a fight when he asked the defendant what he was playing at.

The group walked away but Broomhall became more aggressive, breaking the bottle.

He told police the men wanted to fight him so he armed himself because he was scared.

Broomhall had previous convictions for assault, threatening behaviour and criminal damage.

Phil Bradley, defending, said his successful business earned up to £5,000 a week and employed a number of people.

A drink problem was at the root of his offending and he wanted to overcome it.

Mr Bradley added: "This behaviour was unpalatable but he is capable of being a productive member of society. The sentence has frightened him considerably."