A Yeovil man who allegedly bit the hand of a nightclub bouncer and intimidated other members of staff outside the premises by threatening violence has been cleared of all the charges against him.
When he repeatedly ignored requests to leave he was taken to the floor, and when restrained by a group of four door staff, he claimed he had been put in a headlock so he was unable to breathe.
He was then accused of biting the hand of one of the men leaving marks across three of his fingers.
However, when the defendant appeared before Somerset Magistrates’ Court to stand trial, they said they could not be sufficiently sure that it was him who had caused the injury to the complainant’s hand.
They also said that, although the defendant had shouted threats towards other members of door staff after being ejected from the premises, they had given evidence in court saying that things like that “happened all the time” and it did not particularly bother them.
Cowley, 20, of Century Park, pleaded not guilty to assaulting Thomas Jupp by beating him at Yeovil on July 15 last year.
He also denied using towards Thomas Jupp, Sadie Jones and Nicholas Skinner threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause them to believe that immediate unlawful violence would be used against them.
A two-day trial took place before the court at Yeovil where prosecutor Thomas Faulkner said that Cowley had gone to Club Neo that night and some of his friends had let him into the premises via the fire exit because he had been previously banned.
He was asked to leave and they escorted him out, however, half-an-hour later he returned, was let back in by his friends and then the alleged incident occurred.
CCTV of the incident was shown to the court which showed the melee as staff were trying to restrain Cowley and remove him from the premises.
After Mr Jupp had allegedly been assaulted he sustained three cuts to his knuckles in the centre of each finger breaking the skin although did not require any hospital treatment.
Defending solicitor Chloe Griggs said that a number of the bouncers were seen to get on top of Cowley in the main bar area of the club.
“It was likely in the circumstances that my client’s ability to breathe would have been compromised and he was bleeding from the mouth which made it even more difficult,” she said.
“No doubt his adrenaline was racing and he was moving his head and opening his mouth and a witness said he was trying to bite the door staff, however, none of them said that they had tried to move their arms away from him.”
She said that the defendant admitted ignoring the staff’s request for him to leave and now regretted that, saying in hindsight he should have left but maintained he was not physically aggressive towards the staff.
“He adamantly denied biting Mr Jupp and when he saw the photos of the injury he said it looked as if his hand had been scraped against a concrete wall and nobody actually witnessed the alleged assault,” she said.
Cowley admitted he was shouting abuse and probably made a threat but Miss Griggs said that a threat of immediate unlawful violence was not made, but saying it had been a “future threat” when he said to them: “I am going to find out where you live and I am going to come back and beat you up”.
The magistrates said they could not be sure beyond reasonable doubt that Cowley had bitten Mr Jupp or that the other members of staff had believed that immediate violence was about to be used towards them.
As a result, they found him not guilty of both charges and told him he was free to leave the court.
Source – Somerset Live