Security guard avoids arrest after admitting assault outside East Belfast bar

Security guard avoids arrest after admitting assault outside East Belfast bar

A bouncer who kicked a man in the head outside a bar has avoided being sent to prison.

Curtis Brown, 42, was given a four-month suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to one count of common assault.

A judge was told he had a “temporary and complete loss of self-control” after 14 years of impeccable work as a doorman.

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Brown, who lost his job over the incident, was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to the victim.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he was on duty at premises near his home on Upper Newtownards Road, East Belfast, when an argument broke out between several men shortly after midnight on November 18 last year.

Police were told that at one point the doorman allegedly kicked or stomped on the injured party’s head. According to a witness, however, the victim was also struck with a glass by one of the others involved in the altercation. He was treated at the hospital for injuries that included cuts to the back of his head and bruising.

Brown, who previously served in the Army, was charged with the lesser crime of common assault on the grounds that he was responsible for the victim’s injuries.

“It was clear the defendant punched and kicked him or stamped on his head, but the other men attacked him and inflicted most of the injuries,” a Crown attorney said.

The court was told Brown claimed he was hit first and then punched the victim in an attempt to free himself while they were on the ground.

Defense attorney Michael Boyd acknowledged: “There is no explanation for it, there was then a kick in the direction of the injured part (head).”

After watching footage of the incident, District Judge Steven Keown said: “A kick might be the most generous term to describe it.”

Mr Keown was also told that Brown was not involved in the initial fight with two other men outside the bar.

“They were not employed as doormen to keep the peace. There may be less of a duty of care owed to them,” he replied. The court heard that Brown has now lost his licence to work as a doorman.

“He is actively trying to get another job, he has a very good employment history and he was also in the Army for four or five years,” Mr Boyd added. “It appears to have been a complete temporary loss of self-control.”

Citing Brown’s early admission of guilt and his impeccable record, the judge decided to suspend the four-month sentence for three years.

But he warned the defendant: “If anything like this happens again, you could face between eight and 12 months in prison for any further violent offence.”

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