Smallthorne bouncer felled drunk afte kicking him out
A DOORMAN felled and punched a drunken customer after he was seriously provoked.
Aaron Clare, aged 28, was working at The Forresters Arms, Smallthorne, on May 6 when at the end of the night he had to eject David Ray who was drunk.
But Mr Ray would not go quietly and after a lot of provocation Clare lost his patience outside the pub.
He knocked Mr Ray to the ground and punched him to the face while he was on the floor, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.
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The victim was left with a cut to the back of his head and cuts and grazing to his face, neck, arms and hand.
He went to hospital but left without receiving treatment.
Clare told police Mr Ray refused to leave the pub and had to be thrown out. He said he acted in self defence after Mr Ray became aggressive outside.
But Clare, of Dutton Close, Market Drayton, later pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. His plea was tendered on the basis he correctly ejected the customer who continued to be abusive outside. But he conceded his actions went beyond lawful self defence. However, he denied any kicking or being in possession of a knuckle duster.
Peter McCartney, mitigating, said Clare was subjected to immense provocation.
He added: "Mr Ray would not leave the area. Several times he came towards the door. He would not desist.
"Aaron Clare lost his temper a little. He swept Mr Ray's legs away from him and concedes he punched him a few times."
Mr McCartney said Clare had since given up work as a doorman.
He added: "It has been a very stressful six months for the defendant and he has been out of work. He hopes once these proceedings are concluded he can resume work, but not door work."
Recorder Martin Wasik accepted there was a significant degree of provocation and added Clare had not been in trouble before.
He sentenced the defendant to a 12-month community order with supervision including an anger management programme. He must also pay £500 costs. But the judge made no order for compensation, because Mr Ray was drunk and there was provocation.
Recorder Wasik said Clare showed considerable patience and restraint in the way he and his colleague ejected Mr Ray.
But he added: "Unfortunately matters did not come to an end. It is quite clear you assaulted the victim by knocking him to the ground and punching him at least once in the face when he was on the floor.
"You did receive considerable provocation. Nonetheless, acting in the capacity as you were, a doorman, in my view, there was absolutely no need for you to act as you did. There was no excuse for you to knock him to the floor and assault him in the way you did."