Assault case bouncer: I lied
A 17-stone bouncer accused of assaulting a student clubber who suffers from a dangerous blood disease tried to deceive police, he admitted yesterday.
Mark Thomas removed his bouncer's shirt and headset because his Security Industry authority licence had expired, Bristol Crown Court heard.
Then he told officers that he had been involved in the incident but was working as an "observer" and not as a fully licensed bouncer at the time.
Thomas is accused of putting 20-year-old Jack Ridler into a headlock causing him to lose consciousness before throwing him on to the street outside.
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The young clubber lost nine teeth in the incident at Subtone nightclub in Cheltenham on June 7 last year, and spent five days in hospital recovering from his injuries.
In his evidence Mr Ridler told the court he suffers from Von Willebrand disease – a blood condition – that makes him more susceptible to a brain haemorrhage. Under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 anyone working as a door supervisor must have a valid license or badge.
Thomas told the jury at Bristol Crown Court yesterday: "When I saw the pool of blood all around him, I stood there in a state of shock.
"I decided to take my ear piece out and removed my shirt and radio. I thought that if I lied and said I was an observer then I would not get into trouble about the badge. It was my responsibility to keep it up to date. I was scared to say that my badge had run out.
"I have never been in that situation before. I just panicked and made up a lie which I later realised was a stupid thing to do."
Thomas also told the jury that he denied holding Mr Ridler in a headlock, that he was unconscious at any time, or that he threw him to the ground.
"I never grabbed him around the throat," he said.
"If I had put my arm around his neck then that would have been unreasonable force, but I never grabbed him around the neck. As I took him to the door and kicked the door open I fell and released my grip. I did not kick him or punch him or anything. I feel devastated about his injuries now. I can not imagine how he is feeling."
On Tuesday, the jury heard that Mr Ridler was assaulted by Thomas after an incident on the dancefloor where Mr Ridler was being punched by a group of men.
Mr Ridler told the jury: "I have tight jeans and long hair and it can rub people up the wrong way. They started pushing us and kept slapping me in the face. We tried to avoid it for a bit but then I pushed one and he punched me and his three friends started punching me. The bouncer came from behind me and put his around my neck. I tried to pull it off but it got tighter and I blacked out."
Thomas, of Dunlin Close, Quedgeley, denies causing grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm to Mr Ridler on June 7 last year. The trial continues.