Clubber cleared of Christmas Lights night attack
A contract worker has been cleared of breaking a Christmas lights reveller’s cheekbone after telling a jury he was the victim of mistaken identity.
James Storey said he had nothing to do with the injuries which victim Jack Bye suffered after a fight which started when a joke in a club went wrong.
He said he was standing a few yards away from Mr Bye when he was felled and the first he knew of the attack was when he looked around and saw him on the ground outside the EX4 club in the centre of Exeter.
Storey, aged 24, was caught on CCTV moments after the incident being held back by two friends but he told the jury at Exeter Crown Court he had not been involved in the violence.
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The trouble started when a group of contract workers from Sheffield were drinking and dancing in the club where the victim and a group of friends had gone to celebrate after watching the Exeter Christmas lights being switched on.
One of Storey’s group made a joke remark to one of the Exeter lads asking how much it would cost to take one of the girls home and was told £50.
A bouncer overheard the exchange and took exception to it, ejecting Storey and a couple of his friends and this led to an argument when the other group left the club shortly afterwards at around 2 am.
The prosecution said Mr Bye got between the two sides and was acting as peacemaker but was attacked by Storey, punched to the ground unconscious, and left with a broken cheek bone.
Storey, from Sheffield, denied causing actual bodily harm in the attack in November 2011 and was found not guilty.
He told the jury he had not been the man who made the indecent proposal inside the club but had become embroiled in the argument which followed it in the street outside.
He said he had been drinking vodka and Red Bull throughout the night but was only half way drunk and ‘merry’.
He said:”Someone came outside shouting ‘that’s my girlfriend’ I did not know what he was on about or who he was shouting at.
“I saw he was shouting towards me and there was some banter and I was shouting back. He was quire angry and about one or two metres away.
“Some of my friends said to leave it and got hold of me and I took three or four steps away and turned around and saw someone on the floor. I did not know them.
“There was still a lot of shouting so we left. I did not hit anyone.”