Ex-bouncer spared jail after ‘disgraceful’ homophobic attack outside Liverpool gay bar
A former bouncer was spared jail – after crying in court – for a homophobic and racist attack outside a gay bar in Liverpool because the judge believed he showed “genuine remorse.”
Craig Garnell, 29, was instead handed a 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and a 40-day rehabilitation programme for what has been described as a “disgraceful” homophobic attack outside Superstar Boudoir, reports the Liverpool Echo.
The ex-bouncer broke down in tears as Liverpool Crown Court heard how he head butted promoter Alex Wright outside the city centre venue, where Garnell used to work.
In a drunken 1am attack, the father-of-two also reportedly chased Wright into the nightclub yelling “you looked at my girlfriend, you f****t”, and then punched him. The incident took place on July 7 last year.
After the promoter had retreated into Superstar Boudoir, Garnell pushed another doorman, Sean McDonald, out the way.
CCTV footage then showed him and bouncer Simba Nuzazi clashing heads – despite Garnell’s friends trying to restrain him.
Garnell allegedly shouted Nuzazi: “Do you know who I am? You will be sacked in the morning you f***ing n*****.” Nuzazi decided not to make a statement about the incident.
Wright sustained a 3cm bruise to his forehead and a inflamed left eye following the attack, and told the court how the attack had affected his day-to-day life.
“I don’t feel safe in public, around drunks and being out at night. I have no confidence and I’m always looking over my shoulder,” Wright said.
“I don’t do as many night shifts as I did and I have started to work behind the bar in case I have another confrontation with anybody else.”
Police arrested Garnell on July 30, when he reportedly told police: “I was acting in self defence and I admit I used racial and homophobic language.”
Garnell, who has no previous convictions, admitted to committing assault causing actual bodily harm and affray.
Recorder and QC Mukhtar Hussain told the court that Garnell had consumed “a fair amount of alcohol” and his attack of Wright came “out of really nothing”.
Laura Tipping, defending Garnell in court, said the former bouncer suffered from Bipolar disorder and obsessive–compulsive disorder.
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Garnell cried and said “I’m sorry”, begging “please” when Hussain discussed suspending his prison sentence.
Speaking to Garnell, the judge said: “What you did was in my view disgraceful. You followed this with the comments, which were clearly racist and homophobic.”
However, the judge added: “You clearly show a genuine remorse.
“With that, being a man of good character, I am prepared to accept this was an incident which was out of character for you.
“I take into account the fact you have two young children and you’re now in gainful employment.
“I am going to take a chance and I hope you will not let me down, the court down or indeed your family.”
Garnell was also ordered to observe a four-month home daily curfew from 9pm to 5am, as well as to pay Wright £450 in compensation and £250 towards prosecution costs.