DJ attacks drinkers in bar

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A COURT has heard how a 22-year-old man left in charge of his parents’ Longridge bar assaulted three regulars in one night.

Blackburn magistrates heard Harley Clayton Whitehead dragged one female drinker out of the establishment – then known as Hemingways – because she asked him to play a record from the film Grease.

And a man standing talking to his sister was asked: “What are you doing?” before he was punched from behind.

Michael Blacklidge, defending, said Whitehead had experience of working in pubs, but not formal training.

“The way he dealt with people on this day clearly left something to be desired,” said Mr Blacklidge.

“Not surprisingly he is not pursuing a career in the licensed trade, and has got himself a job as a metal fabricator.”

Whitehead, 22, of Staffa Crescent, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to assaulting Anne Lewis, Martin Cookson and Jordan Young.

He was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £100 compensation to Miss Lewis and Mr Cookson and £150 to Mr Young and £500 costs.

He was also made subject to community supervision for 12 months with attendance at an anger management programme.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said as well as being in charge of Hemingways pub in Berry Lane, Whitehead was the DJ for the night.

He was playing one kind of music and Miss Lewis asked him to play something else.

“His reaction was abusive and aggressive,” said Miss Allan. “She couldn’t believe his reaction.”

Miss Lewis fell to the floor after being grabbed by the arm, dragged across the pub and shown the door. She later told police she had never felt so humiliated and embarrassed.

Later the same night Mr Cookson was having a drink with friends when the music stopped and he leaned over the DJ console and pressed a button to re-start it.

Whitehead approached and told him he shouldn’t have done that and Mr Cookson apologised and said it wouldn’t happen again.

“He was then punched from behind to the side of his face and decided to leave the pub for his own safety,” said Miss Allan.

Also, the court heard Mr Young went into the pub with his dad and was talking to his sister when he was punched for no reason.

Formerly the Quench Cafe Bar, owned and run by Longridge businesswoman, Diane Despard, Quench became Hemingways Bar and Grill last summer, during which time the assaults took place.

Hemingways closed within months.

The premises are now being run by Jason Todd, who took over late last year in time for Extravaganza Night, re-naming the business Jayz Bar.