Ex-boxer walks free after glassing man in Bridlington nightclub

Liam Bowtell, 20 admitted smashing a glass into the face of a club-goer at the Utopia nightclub.
Liam Bowtell, 20 admitted smashing a glass into the face of a club-goer at the Utopia nightclub.

A young boxer who glassed a man in Bridlington's Utopia nightclub has dramatically walked free from court after being found not guilty.

Liam Bowtell, 20 admitted smashing a glass into the face of a club-goer who shouted at a group of his friends “walk through me won't you!” as they pushed passed him on the balcony of the nightclub.

Mr Bowtell said the victim got in “his personal space” and as he shouted at him, his natural reaction was to defend himself. He hit him with a pint glass knocking him to the floor – the glass shattered causing four separate cuts. The pair ended up grappling and the complainant was bitten on the right hand before bouncers pulled them apart.

Mr Bowtell of Cardigan Road Bridlington was charged with causing grievous bodily harm and appeared at Hull Crown Court for a trial (October 9-10). He insisted he had acted in lawful self defence.

Crown barrister Claire Holmes opened the case to the jury. She said both parties had been out drinking on January 31 and had ended up in Utopia after midnight.

She said the victim went on the balcony around 2am for a cigarette when he felt a shove in the back. His response was to say: “walk through me won’t you!” to the group of lads who passed him.

“It was then he (Bowtell) who hit him with pint glass to the temple and the force was enough to break the glass,” said Mrs Holmes. “The victim fell to the ground and was grappling with Liam Bowtell. During the course of this the victim was bitten to the right hand. Bouncers then separated them.”

She said the victim had four cuts attended to at hospital – two of which needed stitches.

Mrs Holmes said: “Mr Bowtell was interviewed on February 26. He accepted he was person who caused the injuries. He said it was self defence. He said a man who he did not know very well had pushed past the man - and the man started shouting at him. Because he is a boxer, Mr Bowtell said his initial reaction was to protect himself, as the man got in to his personal space. He said he hit him with a glass and they ended up in a fight until bouncers intervened.”

Mrs Holmes said: “The issue in this case will not be whether Mr Bowtell could have dealt with being shoved in a better way. The Crown say, even if you been shoved, to hit him with a glass and to bite him, is not self defence.”

The jury were sent home overnight after the opening of the case. However on Tuesday October 10, the victim telephoned at 10am to say they would not be giving evidence. Ms Holmes told Judge Mark Bury the Crown had taken the decision to offer no further evidence in the case.

Judge Bury ordered the foreman of the jury to stand as he instructed him to record a not guilty verdict against Mr Bowtell who was allowed to walk free from court.