Plasterer bitten by ex-employee

A plasterer got bitten by an ex-employee and then a police dog after trouble started on a pre-Christmas night out at a Burnley club, a court heard.

Burnley Magistrates' Court.
Burnley Magistrates' Court.

The town's magistrates were told how John David Marsh ended up fighting in the street with his former worker, who had attacked him and sunk his teeth into his cheek inside the premises. He was then bitten on the thigh by a police dog as it's handler, surrounded by about 10 men, tried to stop the violence.

Marsh (28), of Hordley Street, Burnley, admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, last December 23rd. He was given an eight-week curfew, between 7pm and 7am, seven days a week and must pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

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Mrs Tracy Yates (prosecuting) told the hearing that at around 11pm, police were called to Ightenleigh Social Club.

A dog handler was first on the scene and saw a gang of about 10 men in the middle of the road. The defendant was fighting with another man. The dog handler managed to separate the pair without deploying the animal and was surrounded by the group.

Mrs Yates said Marsh then took hold of the same man and started punching him. The man fell to the ground, with the defendant on top of him, continuing to attack him.

The prosecutor continued: "The officer said he was outnumbered and deployed his dog to try and stop the violence. At this point, the dog did bite the defendant on the upper leg. The officer requested urgent assistance and did manage again to take hold of the defendant and detain him with the help of his dog."

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Mr David Lawson (defending Marsh) said: "He asks me to specifically express his regret for his behaviour on this particular occasion. He accepts the police officer was performing a difficult task."

The defendant had been drinking with friends at the club. A former employee was rather drunk and behaving inappropriately in the premises, Marsh tried to stop that continuing and the ex-worker turned nasty on him and bit him on the cheek. The man was asked to leave, refused and the defendant tried to reason with him but was attacked again.

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Mr Lawson continued: "He was upset about being bitten on the cheek. They were grappling with each other and he accepts he's thrown a few punches. Other people became involved. It's clear the officer was trying to detain the defendant and perhaps because of what's gone on, others spring to his defence and try and reason with the officer. The police dog bit him on the thigh and he had to seek medical treatment for that."

The solicitor added :" He is thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour. He presents as a very amenable young man."