Astley man avoids jail for assaulting Vogue night club bouncer

Michael Warburton was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court

Michael Warburton was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court

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A CLUB-GOER attacked a doorman whom he feared was going to hit with him with "slap mitts", a court heard today, Friday.

Michael Warburton threw a bottle at the bouncer, Kym Chave, which bounced off his shoulder but a metal drinks tray he threw struck him on the head.

It knocked him unconscious and caused a cut, said Harry Pepper, prosecuting.

Warburton fled from the scene in the Vogue night club in King Street, Leigh in the early hours of September 9 last year but was later arrested and pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that "slap mitts" are also known as knuckle duster gloves.

Sentencing Warburton, Judge David Aubrey, QC, said that "slap mitts" was certainly a euphemism because "if a person places that particular article on their knuckles their intention is certainly to perpetrate something more than a mere slap."

He told Warburton, aged 23, of Kermishaw Nook, Astley, who has no previous convictions for violence, that his reaction had been disproportionate and someone could have been seriously injured.

The judge sentenced him to a 12 month community order with 160 hours unpaid work and a £60 victim surcharge.

But he then ordered him to remain in the dock and ordered a police officer to detain Warburton's friend, Jonathan Hogg, whom he had twice warned about his behaviour during the hearing.

Both men were smirking and 28-year-old Hogg twice called out from the public gallery, the second time saying Warburton should pay at £5 a week rather than the £10 a week he had agreed to.

He warned Warburton that if he continued to smirk he would be going to the cells and that if he does not carry out the unpaid work he would be brought back to court and be sent to jail.

Judge Aubrey told Hogg that such behaviour would not be tolerated and if he behaved in such a way in court again "your feet won't touch the ground."

Harry Pepper, prosecuting, had told the court that the incident happened about 2am. Warburton had gone into the club with friends but his friends were ejected because of suspicions of drug taking.

He became involved in a verbal altercation with Mr Chave and when Mr Chave leant over the bar and started putting on the knuckle duster gloves Warburton threw the items at him.

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