By Waseem Mohamed
A man has been handed a nine-month immediate jail term after admitting to two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm and one count of common assault, following an incident outside Fabio’s bar on Saddler Street last year.
Liam Gallagher, of Wharton Street in Coundon, was ejected from the bar with his friend shortly after 10pm on 8th August due to their drunken behaviour, before he approached three students in the vicinity — one of them being male, the other two being female.
Gallagher approached the male student in the trio and called him “A fancy Durham student”, and also made a homophobic remark towards the student by saying that he “must be gay” if he was entering the bar. Gallagher also appeared to make misogynistic remarks towards the female students during the attack.
In the hearing at Durham Crown Court, prosecutor Matthew Hopkins provided further details about the incident. He explained how the male student, having witnessed Gallagher’s behaviour, suggested to the two female students that they should leave the area.
However, Gallagher put his arm around one of the female students who responded by trying to push him away. Gallagher then pushed the female student into the path of an oncoming vehicle, but “fortunately” the vehicle was travelling slowly enough to perform an emergency stop and prevent a collision with the student.
The male student, helped by a doorman, then pushed Gallagher away, but the defendant threw a drink at the female student he has pushed into the road. Gallagher than spat at the student when she tried to walk away, before he eventually followed and punched her to the ground, with the student’s head hitting the pavement.
The male student rushed to help the female student out, only for Gallagher to punch him as well. Gallagher also tried to punch the third student in the trio but initially missed. The third student tried to go after Gallagher as he left the scene, but Gallagher shoved her, punched her in the face, and threw rubbish bags at her to deter her from following him any further.
Eventually, the ordeal was ended when Gallagher was spotted by police in another street and was arrested. Meanwhile, two of the three students attacked required treatment in accident and emergency — the male student suffered “extensive” damage to two of his front teeth, while one of the female students suffered from a cut face, black eye and concussion. The other female student was not injured.
When interviewed, Gallagher initially denied hitting a women, saying that he was first punched by the male student and so acted in retaliation. The injured female student has since said that she was relieved not to have suffered from a more serious injury given the danger of one of the punch attacks, saying that she was wary of going out in Durham on her own in the aftermath of the attack.
Defending on behalf of Gallagher, Christopher Bevan told the judge that while “He’s fully aware you may send him to prison today”, he urged the judge to pass a suspended sentence for Gallagher.
Bevan explained that Gallagher and his friend has been drinking earlier in the day and took a bus to Durham to continue into the night. He said that Gallagher “fully accepts and takes responsibility for the assaults on those individuals and accepts making the comments.
“He’s deeply sorry for what he did and for, yet again, finding himself before the court for committing offences fuelled by alcohol, which seems to be the trigger for him.”
The court heard how Gallagher has nine previous convictions including three offences of violence, one of which was him headbutting his former partner. However, Bevan noted that Gallagher had an offence-free period from 2013 and 2019 while he stopped drinking, but following a breakdown of a relationship, he returned to drinking and started offending again.
In the end, Judge James Adkin handed Gallagher a nine-month immediate jail term, saying that “By pure misfortune these three individuals were nearest to you when you and your friend were ejected from those premises.”
He also said that “Drunken thuggery against young people, like this, hitting one woman in the face, is always going to lead to a sentence of imprisonment.”
Image: Greg McCormick via Creative Commons