Barred drinker loses appeal

A barred drinker who punched a doorman while being thrown out of a pub on New Year’s Eve has failed to overturn his conviction.

James Porter claimed he acted in self-defence when he lashed out at the bouncer in Melksham’s The Tavern on the last day of 2011.

But Judge Douglas Field, sitting at Swindon Crown Court with two magistrates, found the 27-year-old had assaulted Steven Gilson and his sentence was appropriate.

Porter had been barred from the hostelry following an earlier assault, when he tried to gouge the doorman’s eye, the court was told.

Mr Gilson said he came on duty at 10pm on December 31, 2011, and a colleague told him Porter was in the bar. He said he went up to him and politely told him to leave, adding he was not allowed to stay and finish his drink.

In the foyer, Porter protested he was no longer on a Pub Watch ban, as he had been when the earlier assault took place at the Market Place bar. Mr Gilson said he showed him he was in the book as being barred, as a result of the earlier assault. It was then that he was punched in the face.

Porter claimed he had also been injured in the previous incident and was frightened when he was in the foyer  with so many door staff.

He claimed there were four people acting in a threatening way and he lashed out, fearing an assault.

Porter, of Berryfield Park, Melksham, had denied common assault and was appealing against October’s conviction. At the earlier hearing, he was given a two-year community order with aggression therapy and a drug rehabilitation order.

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