Doorman pleads guilty to assault by beating and will be sentenced next month

A young woman has described how she was pinned against a wall and assaulted by a bouncer while his colleagues “tormented” her.

The bouncer, Craig Sawbridge, also lied to police and falsely claimed he restrained her because she had hit him.

The woman told the BBC she was scared to report what happened, but did so to prevent the same happening to others.

Sawbridge has pleaded guilty to assault by beating and will be sentenced next month.

The woman told the BBC the “extremely frightening” ordeal – which lasted about 15 minutes – had affected her mentally for months afterwards.

“I cannot explain how scared I was; I didn’t know what they were going to do to me,” said the woman, who is 22.

“I couldn’t bear the thought of this happening to another young woman like me.”

Only Sawbridge was charged with an offence. However, Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard that the other bouncers stood watching, and even went through the woman’s bag, took out her ID with her address on, and then took photos of it.

Police obtained CCTV and bodycam footage that backed up the woman’s version of events. Without this, she does not believe Sawbridge would have been prosecuted and convicted.

“I’m glad that the police have taken it seriously and managed to get all the evidence, as I didn’t have any evidence other than my words,” she said.

“What keeps me awake at night was how far they could have taken it and how defenceless I was.”

Sawbridge assaulted the woman while she was on a night out with friends, on the evening of 25 and 26 January 2020.

The woman told the BBC that he grabbed one of her friends by the arm. She started filming him as evidence, but he saw and told her: “Delete that photo now! Delete that photo!”

The court heard she was then detained by Sawbridge, who pushed her against a wall.

Sawbridge claimed the woman had hit him in the face, but the CCTV and bodycam footage later showed she did not.

She told the BBC she screamed for help and for someone to call the police while she remained pinned to the wall.

“Sawbridge and other bouncers tormented me,” she said, adding that he called her “immature” for screaming for help.

Other bouncers then went through her possessions, the court heard, and took photos of her ID while she was still pinned against the wall.

The woman told the BBC she felt this was done to scare her and discourage her from reporting the incident to the police.

The bouncers then returned her bag, let her leave the club, and she immediately called the police.

The woman told the BBC she was prescribed painkillers for her back and shoulders, which hurt from being pinned against the wall for so long.

She said she has also suffered mentally as a result of what happened.

“The whole ordeal was extremely frightening and there have been times where I felt like I was back in the club with him shouting at me,” she said.

“I have had counselling to help me recover as after I was left feeling scared and extremely anxious and worried, especially as they knew where I lived.”

She also felt “very low” in the months after the assault.

“For weeks after I didn’t like to be left anywhere on my own,” she said.

“I have not been to a nightclub since this event and when I see security personnel my anxiety increases. I also felt very low in the months after the event.”

Sawbridge, of Stephenson Drive in Leicester, was charged with assault by beating. The other bouncers involved were questioned by police but have not been prosecuted.

The 40-year-old initially pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court, and the victim was told she would need to give evidence during a trial.

“I was devastated as this meant I would have to go through the stress and trauma again and I would have to face him,” she told the BBC.

In order to give evidence, she would also have needed to travel 150 miles to Leicester during lockdown.

However, Sawbridge then pleaded guilty to assault by beating, and is due to be sentenced on 22 April.

The maximum sentence for the charge would be six months in prison.

The BBC asked Sawbridge and Mosh to comment, but neither wished to do so.

Source – BBC