Wigan pub boss was attacked by partner of sacked employee

30/5/19: Story and photograph courtesy of Wigan Today www.wigantoday.net

A pub manager was punched 30 times and had a bar stool thrown at him by the partner of a woman he had sacked, a court heard.

Darryl Dronsfield was attacked behind the bar of the White Horse, on Standishgate, when father-of-three Lee Maguire saw “red mist”.

Bar manager Darryl Dronsfield was attacked as he worked at the White Horse

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard Maguire, 43, had returned home from his job as a forklift truck driver on March 26 to find his girlfriend- named only as Barbara – upset after losing her job.
He became angry and went to see Mr Dronsfield, despite her requests not to.

Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, said Maguire had previously been barred from the pub for threatening behaviour and Mr Dronsfield was concerned.

He tried to push the emergency button on the Pubwatch radio, but Maguire went behind the bar and attacked him.

CCTV footage showed Mr Dronsfield being hit repeatedly, before Maguire picked up a stool and threw it at him.

In a statement, Mr Dronsfield said he was punched 30 times and could not get away.

Paramedics took him to A&E for treatment to his injuries, which included a black eye, bruises to his face and arm, and swelling to his face, neck and jaw.

Mr Dronsfield was “very shaken up” for a few days and frightened that Maguire would return to the pub.

Maguire, of Standishgate, Wigan, pleaded guilty to assault by beating when he appeared in court yesterday.

Melissa Fagan, defending, said Maguire had sided with his partner after finding her upset.

She said: “He says basically the red mist came down. I think that’s what you really see when you look at the CCTV. It’s a man going there to have a confrontation.”

While he admitted the assault when arrested, it was only after seeing the CCTV footage that he realised the extent of the attack, she said.

Maguire was remorseful and had not returned to the pub.

When magistrates asked how he felt after seeing the footage, Maguire said: “shocked and disgusted”, “unacceptable” and “not the normal behaviour for me”.

Sentencing, the chairman of the bench described it as a “very serious, unprovoked and sustained attack involving the use of a bar stool as a weapon”.

He imposed a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, along with a 26-week curfew from 7pm to 5am.

Maguire must pay £500 compensation to Mr Dronsfield and was banned from going to the pub for 18 months, unless he has express permission from the landlord.

NPW Editors comment: NPW has recently responded to a Home Office ‘Call for evidence’ related to assaults and abuse of people working in the retail trade. We have responded on behalf of Pubwatch members working in the pub and hospitality sector, as we believe that bar and door staff suffer similar issues to those working in a retail environment. The call for evidence is open until 28 June 2019 and we would urge the pub and hospitality sector to make their views known.