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Rupert St bouncer awaits sentencing for vicious attack

Stephanie Phillips July 4, 2008

A bouncer who worked at a popular gay bar in Soho has pleaded guilty to beating up a young gay customer in a vicious attack inside the bar.

Mehmet Caliskan, who was employed by Rupert Street Bar to protect their customers, admitted he “lost it” when Craig McCadden, 20, tried to enter the bar to meet some friends as it was closing.

Sentencing has been adjourned till 24th July.

Mathew Pinto, a 25 year old media producer who witnessed the attack, said: “I looked round and saw Craig being head butted in the face by the bouncer. Craig collapsed but was immediately picked up and thrown across the room, knocking over a table and smashing glasses.

“The bouncer ran over while Craig was still on the floor and kicked him in the face. Blood was oozing [from] his mouth. Craig’s just a skinny boy with a slight build and this burly bouncer was laying into him like a wild animal. It was an unprovoked attack and Craig couldn’t possibly defend himself.”

Mr Pinto said that he had to physically remove Mr McCadden from the venue and away from his attacker in fear that “the bouncer would have killed him otherwise.”

The incident, which was captured on CCTV, occurred on Saturday 7th April 2007 at 10.55pm.

Caliskan was apprehended by the police and interviewed at West End Central Police Station while McCadden, who is a nurse, was treated at Accident and Emergency at University College Hospital.

Gay Soho law firm is demanding that Westminster Council revoke Rupert Street’s licence. Partner Mark Andrew said: “If a young gay man can’t go to a gay bar without being half murdered by their own staff then the council have a duty to shut them down.

“I would urge gay men to send out a message that this savage attack is unacceptable and to boycott Rupert Street.”

Criminal Law Barrister Adrian Amer, said: “The bouncer holds a position of trust to protect Rupert Street’s customers from this kind of violence. He may well be facing a custodial sentence, even for this first offence.”

Mr McCadden’s lawyers, Irwin Mitchell, are now suing the Rupert Street Bar for dental work and jaw surgery needed after the attack which could cost more than £31,000.

Rupert Street Bar is owned by Mitchells & Butlers who also own the All Bar One and Harvester Inn Chains.

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