Man cleared of bar assault at his trial

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A Gainsborough man accused of head butting a man in Xtras bar has been cleared of assault after the prosecution case against him collapsed.

Leon Gardener was alleged to have attacked Daniel Watson ,22, during an incident in the bar back in February 2011.

Phil Howes, prosecuting at Lincoln Crown Court, claimed Mr Watson was talking to a friend when Gardener walked in and within seconds launched an unprovoked attack.

He alleged Gardener head butted Mr Watson and then, after the men were separated, resumed the attack and bit the end of Mr Watson’s nose causing heavy bleeding.

Watson told the jury: “My nose was pouring with blood. I had a white tee-shirt on. It was covered in blood.”

He said he had never met Gardener before the incident although he knew who he was.

Under cross-examination Watson denied he had earlier had a conversation with Gardener telling him “you’re dead”.

He insisted he had been head butted at the start of the incident but was subsequently shown CCTV footage from inside the bar which appeared to show the two men talking.

“I didn’t tell him he was dead,” he said.

He refuted a defence suggestion that the biting incident did not take place and that the CCTV evidence showed Gardener simply walking past him following an earlier altercation between the men.

Watson also denied a suggestion that he sent a text message to Gardener asking for £1,500 to drop his complaint.

“That’s not true. I never once asked for money. He contacted me and offered me £500 not to go to the police. I was also contacted by a number of people,” he said.

Gardener, 41, of Willoughby Chase, Gainsborough, denied assault occasioning actual bodily harm on 12th February 2011.

Half way through the case the prosecution offered no further evidence against him and he was formally found not guilty by the jury on the directions of Judge Michael Heath.

The Judge told the jury: “You will have noticed in cross-examination that there are discrepancies in what the witnesses said and what was visible to on the CCTV.”

“The Crown have decided not to seek a conviction. I direct you, as a matter of law, to find the defendant not guilty,” he added.