A TOP City insurance broker who fractured a woman’s jaw in three places during a drunken row has been spared jail.

Steven Herbert, 56, a director at BMS in London, started swinging punches in Caffe Vergnano, near Fenchurch Street Station, during a trivial row about his friend phoning his daughter.

The father-of-three, who lives in Fields Farm Road, Layer-de-la-Haye, left 45-year-old insurance office manager Donna West needing operations to her jaw and she continues to suffer numbness and difficulty eating and an absence of taste and smell.

Herbert admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Ms West.

He also admitted assaulting insurance underwriter Lloyd Cross.

He was handed a 12-month community order which includes 135 hours community service and a three-month electronically tagged home curfew between 8.30pm and 5am.

Herbert must also pay £2,000 compensation to Ms West, £2,000 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

He was cleared of the more serious offence of grievous bodily harm with intent, and stealing Mr Cross’s iPhone.

Inner London Crown Court heard Herbert had been drinking during a lunchtime business meeting before spending the evening with the two victims and one of his two adult daughters.

Herbert objected to some “sexually suggestive” comments Mr Cross made towards his daughter and left with her.

But he returned to the bar area where he snatched his friend’s iPhone to stop him calling her.

Rory Keene, prosecuting, said: “He took it from Mr Cross and the complainant asked for it back and Mr Herbert smacked him in the face, a single punch.

“Donna West came running across the bar, drops her bag and launches herself at Mr Herbert, causing him to react and causing the unfortunate injury that she received.”

CCTV shows Herbert knocking Mr Cross down and then swinging a left-hook at Ms West, who was also floored.

Herbert’s QC Lewis Power said: “It’s a tragic case where a lifelong friendship has been destroyed and we see the damage of drinking to excess.

“He feels his fabulous reputation in the City is now gone.

“He was told he may now lose his job.”

Judge Silas Reid told Herbert: “You had been out drinking most of the day with your daughter and friends and no doubt fuelled by alcohol got involved in an argument.”

After hearing Herbert was caught drink-driving recently the judge added: “You’d be well-advised to look at your drinking. Here we are, twice in three years in court.

“You have lost your good character in a fairly spectacular way. It was a stupid mistake to make.

“You believed you were at risk from Ms West, but but you were not.”