Brawl at bar ended as doorman pressed ‘gun’ against head of knifeman

CCTV footage shows the moment a doorman grabbed a firearm after a thug pulled out a knife sparking a brawl outside a sports bar.

The video footage previously obtained by the ECHO showed a mass brawl outside Parnell’s Sports Bar on South Road, Waterloo at around 11pm on April 13 2022. In the footage a man pulls a large knife from his tracksuit bottoms and moves quickly towards a person standing at the door.

He is grabbed by a number of other men, who punch and kick the knifeman to the ground. What appears to be blood is spattered across the floor. However, a second clip – taken from a camera in the doorway of the bar – captured the doormen running back inside and pulling what appears to be a gun from a bag.

The ECHO can now reveal the man brandishing the firearm was Aidan Hollingsworth. The now 27-year-old appeared before Liverpool Crown Court to be sentenced yesterday morning, Thursday, February 1 after he pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm and affray.

Hollingsworth was working as a doorman when he and his colleagues were approached by Thomas McClelland, who pulled out a large knife from his tracksuit bottoms. Robert Wyn Jones, prosecuting, told the court how Hollingsworth ran back into the front entrance of the bar where he pulled out the firearm from a bag behind a counter. CCTV showed Hollingsworth push McClelland out of the bar before the knifeman was punched and dragged to the ground.

McClelland finally managed to flee the area following a beating from a number of assailants. Police attended the bar and made a number of arrests. Interviewed under caution Hollingsworth, answered no comment to police questioning. Mr Wyn Jones said Hollingsworth’s home address was searched for the firearm but no weapon was found.

However, footage taken of the incident revealed the weapon was a black imitation handgun. Mr Wyn Jones told the court that at the time of the incident Hollingsworth was under investigation for attacking a taxi driver. He was later convicted of section 18 wounding and is currently serving a prison sentence for the offence.

Regarding the incident outside the sports bar, Hollingsworth pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm and affray at his plea and trial preparation hearing on August 3 last year. His co-defendants were acquitted of affray charges during a trial last year, while McClelland was jailed for two years for his part in the incident.

In mitigation, defence barrister Paul Becker said his client was due to be released from prison for his 27-month sentence for section 18 wounding in March this year. Mr Becker said his client’s best mitigation was his guilty pleas before his case went to trial.

He said Hollingsworth had “used his time in custody constructively”. He said Hollingsworth’s son died five years ago after being born prematurely and he had completed six grief counselling sessions since being in prison. Hollingsworth had also been working as a gym orderly in the prison and completed a construction safety awareness course, said Mr Becker.

Outside of prison he had a supportive family, including an older and a younger sister. Mr Becker said: “His younger sister has autism and he helps his mum with her care when he is not in custody.” He also had a young niece and nephew who were important in his life.

Mr Becker said his client “wants to be there for his family and never be in trouble again”. He added: “The defendant is very motivated to change his life and get back to normal.”

Honour Judge Stuart Driver KC told Mr Becker he accepted the mitigation, but had issues with how readily Hollingsworth had access to the firearm, albeit an imitation. Mr Becker said his client had been to ju-jitsu, where using such items to practice disarming someone is part of the training. However, the judge did not accept the mitigation, and said if that was the case Hollingsworth would have to give new evidence.

In his brief sentencing comments, Judge Driver called the incident a “life-threatening situation”. He said: “A man appeared with a large knife and attempted to attack your colleague. You had an imitation firearm and you quickly had it in your hand and pressed it to his head.”

Judge Driver said he saw the fact the defendant was under investigation for a serious offence of violence at the time of the incident as an aggravating factor. But he added there was “extreme provocation” and that his sentence would be “exceptionally short” given the facts of the case.

The judge sentenced Hollingsworth, who appeared via video link from HMP Liverpool wearing an Adidas top and rosary beads, to six months in prison. Judge Driver said Hollingsworth would start to serve the six months in March following the culmination of his current sentence. Hollingsworth was supported in court by his parents and two friends.

See the Video Here- Liverpool Echo