OWNERS of a Winchester cafe-bar have been left "devastated" after its front window was smashed by a man thought to be under the influence of drink or drugs.

Guests and staff at Cabinet Rooms on Jewry Street saw a man break the shopfront, injuring both himself and a customer.

Following the incident at around 9.47pm on Saturday, December 30 the emergency services were called, arriving within minutes.

A man was arrested in connection with the incident but following further investigation by the police there was no evidence brought forward to prove a crime was committed.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary later confirmed that the incident was dealt with as an accident.

Gary Whiter, co-owner of Cabinet Rooms said, “We are devastated to end what was otherwise a fantastic year for us on such a terrible note. Throughout 2017, we have helped the city council promote Winchester as a great destination for food and drink lovers and, since opening our own cafe-bar just six months ago, we’ve worked very hard to create a calm and relaxing environment for our guests. To have this attacked so recklessly is extremely sad indeed.

"For a local, independent small business owner, this level of damage is a huge blow.

"Most important, however, is that nobody was more seriously injured and our guest was treated so swiftly. We are very proud of our team for handling the situation so effectively.

"We are also extremely grateful to the police officers who attended and everyone who helped administer first aid at the scene, including the Theatre Royal team who were there within minutes to help us."

The café-bar was closed immediately to the public and was boarded up in the early hours of the Sunday morning. Plans to open for New Year’s Eve were cancelled to allow for the clean-up operation.

The bar plans to re-open tomorrow, Thursday, January 4.

“We can’t wait to get back behind the counter and start serving up coffees and cocktails again,” added Gary.

“We hope being boarded up temporarily won’t stop people from paying us a visit in the meantime — it would be great to see some friendly faces and get back to normal for 2018. After all, when life throws you lemons you make cake and cocktails.”