A would-be doorman broke a man’s jaw when he tried to stop two men getting into Perfect 10s in Lune Street.Advertisement
James Loftus, 26, of Inkerman Street, Ashton-on-Ribble, had previously worked as a bouncer at the lap dancing club, but on the night of the attack he was visiting a friend Harry Mansfield, who was working on the doors.
When two men from Blackburn tried to get into the club after they had been refused entry, Loftus lost his temper and punched them both.
Mr Mansfield moved Loftus away and one of the men, Joe Fallows, walked away down Fishergate with blood pouring from his face.
A group of young women stopped to help him and called an ambulance, but when he was joined by his friend and the men became abusive, the women left.
The men took a taxi back to Blackburn where Mr Fallows woke up the next day with a black eye and pain in his jaw.
He went to hospital where tests revealed he had suffered a broken jaw and had to undergo surgery under general anaesthetic to repair his injuries.
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Loftus pleaded guilty to section 20 wounding and section 39 common assault and appeared at Preston Crown Court to be sentenced.
Judge Simon Newell said: “There didn’t seem to be any threat of immediate physical violence.
“You did not need to punch anyone. You could man handle them, move them away, call the police – whatever you would have done to take the sting out of the situation.
“Clearly out of character, you lost your temper and punched both these men.
“You had taken drink that night. You were not employed as a doorman but you acted as one.
“You used unlawful violence. This was at night in the centre of Preston outside licensed premises.
“That is something that should not happen. It causes a lot of problems for police and people enjoying their night out.
“It puts people off going into the town centre and you know that.”
The court heard Loftus, who now works as a carpet fitter, has no previous convictions and the attack was out of character.
Judge Newell handed him a 14 month sentence but said he would suspend it for 18 months, given Loftus’ previous good character and work ethic.
However he granted a curfew ruling Loftus must remain indoors between 8pm and 5am for three months, ordered him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 compensation and £250 costs.
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Speaking after the case and in response to the judge’s comments, Preston City Centre BID manager Mark Whittle said: “Anti-social behaviour can be a deterrent to people visiting any destination.
“However, people enjoying Preston can be assured that incidents of this nature are few and far between. The city’s nightlife is operated to a high standard and patrons should feel safe here.
“Preston remains Lancashire’s only destination to be awarded ‘Purple Flag’ status.
“It is a national award for the safety and effective management of a destination’s nightlife.
“A town or city that is awarded the title must show excellent supervision of venues, the wider city and patron safety”.