Club manager gives evidence in doorman’s manslaughter trial

A MAN who died after he was ejected from Bingley’s Bijou Nightclub was lying unconscious on the pavement with blood coming from his ear, a jury at Bradford Crown Court heard today.

Club manager, Matthew Brear, said James Etherington was face up and unresponsive in the moments after he was escorted outside by three doormen.

Ciaran Spencer, one of the bouncers, denies the manslaughter of Mr Etherington by allegedly using an unlawful headlock while escorting him from the club shortly before 3.30am on November 25, 2017.

Mr Etherington, 24, died in hospital from a traumatic brain injury ten days later.

Mr Brear said Spencer, 25, of Green Head Drive, Utley, Keighley, had been a doorman at the club in Chapel Lane for about five weeks at the time.

He was a good door supervisor and he had no concerns about him, Mr Brear told the jury.

He said he was in his office when a staff member told him that Mr Etherington, whom he had known for about ten years, was refusing to pay for his drinks.

Mr Brear said the door staff should deal with the matter and he watched on the CCTV monitors in his office as Mr Etherington was spoken to by the bouncers and taken outside.

He followed him out, saw him on the ground face up and realised that his injury was “severe.”

When he asked Spencer what had happened, he told him: “He had fallen, and he was being arrogant.”

Cross-examined by defence barrister, Richard Wright QC, Mr Brear said Mr Etherington was resisting being taken out of the club.

The jury heard that he looked angry and was swinging his arms about before he was ejected.

He had taken off his jacket and lunged towards a doorman, it was alleged.

Mr Etherington’s behaviour in the run-up to the incident was described by different witnesses as “silly and nasty” “trying to wind people up” and “a typical drunken lad.”

He was said to have called one girl “a scruffy bitch” and been asked by a doorman to move away from her table.

Mr Etherington’s friend, Ben Rose, said they were “happy drunks” after drinking lager, shots and vodka during a night out that began in Saltaire and included a trip to clubs in Leeds.

When they were in Bijou, he saw Mr Etherington in “a heated discussion” at the bar area with a doorman and then two more came up, the jury was told.

“James was escorted off the premises, or grappled out of the building,” Mr Rose said.

His shoe came off in the doorway “as if he had been dragged.”

Mr Rose said of Spencer: “He was very aggressive and looking for an excuse to get James.”

He then saw Mr Etherington “on the floor, unconscious and knocked out.”

Mr Rose said the doormen did not seem upset afterwards but “quite happy and smiley.”

Cross-examined by Mr Wright, Mr Rose said Mr Etherington did not deserve to be ejected from the club like that.

What stuck in his mind was the sight of his friend dying on the pavement.

The trial continues.

Source – Keighley News