TRAINING courses for nightclub bouncers ‘cannot possibly’ prepare them for situations they will face on the job, a manslaughter trial has heard.
Ciaran Spencer, 25, of Green Head Drive, Keighley, was working as a door supervisor at Bijou nightclub in Bingley in November 2017 when he ejected James Etherington, 24, from the club. Mr Etherington died of injuries he sustained that night. Spencer denies manslaughter.
Bradford Crown Court heard that Spencer had become a qualified doorman in 2014 after completing a four-day training course at Bradford-based Armour Training.
The man who ran the course, Fida Hussain, told the court today that the practical part of the course, covering physical interventions, took place on one of the four days.
Mr Hussain said he had trained more than 400 door staff in his career, and although he could not specifically remember training Spencer he must have done so as he was the only person at Armour who delivered that course.
Candidates on the course were warned that “a lot of the time people will end up in court because they have caused injuries by using restraints that are only suited to fighting rings,” said Mr Hussain.
“The general message is that as a security professional or a door supervisor you don’t have any special rights that apply to you, like a police officer. You are in essence a member of the public.”
He said that door staff who attended his course were taught: “You will not touch anybody, because to touch anybody is in itself an assault.”
Headlocks such as the one Spencer used to remove Mr Etherington from the nightclub are particularly discouraged, Mr Hussain told the court.
“The headlock in itself is one of the most dangerous of the moves – these are fighting moves, not physical interventions.
“You may think you have just got somebody in a lock, but in reality you are strangling them.”
Richard Wright QC, for Spencer, put it to Mr Hussain that he could not possibly convey his 25 years of experience in the security trade to candidates over a four-day course.
Mr Hussain agreed: “To give somebody the ability to perform as a security guard cannot possibly be done in this short a period of time.”
He went on: “You need to be in the situation itself, you need to be trained where the music is blaring, where people are intoxicated, where the space is restricted. You need to see people working in that environment.”
But the course does not require that, he told the court.
Earlier in the trial the jury heard from expert witness Mike Finn, a martial arts specialist, who had also been critical of the training requirements for door staff.
“I think that realistically it would be appropriate if they had a much more intensive instructional course with a lot of practical experience thrown in,” Mr Finn told the court.
Asked by the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, whether he would like to see more extensive training for door staff, Mr Finn agreed.
The trial continues.
Source – Telegraph and Argus