March pub manager headbutted by customer told to leave in early hours

PUBLISHED: 08:53 11 June 2010

THE bar manager of The Square pub in March was headbutted and threatened by a customer who was told to leave the premises in the early hours.

Manager Joseph Watson was not on duty at the time, but had gone to the pub to pick up his sister who was working there, Fenland magistrates were told.

Mr Watson’s sister had asked three men to leave, and there was some banter about the 30-minute rule, explained prosecutor Nicola Rice.

“Drinker James Bunting became aggressive and suggested he should go outside with Mr Watson to show him the 30-minute rule over the car park floor,” said Miss Rice.

“In an unprovoked attack, he then grabbed Mr Watson. He leaned in towards his right cheek and head butted him on the lip.”

Bunting, a former Royal Marine, was holding a pint glass and threatened Mr Watson, saying: “See this glass, I am going to smash it into your face.”

Bunting, 21, of Sunderland Road, Sandy, admitted assaulting Mr Watson on January 28.

Solicitor Hugh Cauthery said the problem was caused by the pub closing at 12.45am, when it had a licence to stay open until 1.30am.

“My client had drunk too much,” he said. “He became aggressive and there was an exchange of words. CCTV makes it clear the defendant did launch himself.”

Magistrates warned Bunting he could be facing a jail sentence, and adjourned sentencing for three weeks for a report to be prepared by the probation service.

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