Plymouth security guard guilty of punching drinker after row in Union Rooms

An off-duty security guard has been found guilty of punching a drinker outside a busy city pub after a row over pushing at the bar. Angry Stephen Edwards, aged 22, lashed out at the stranger after two groups clashed inside the Union Rooms, a jury found. Victim Alex Yates was knocked to the ground, where he was kicked by another man.

He was knocked out and was taken to hospital with cuts to the back of his head and chin, Plymouth Crown Court heard in a trial which spread over a week.

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Edwards, a former Army recruit suspended from his job on the gate of Bickleigh Barracks, denied assault causing actual bodily harm. He claimed he feared Mr Yates was about to attack his group after trouble flared in the early hours. But a jury found him guilty of the assault by a majority verdict after almost six hours of deliberations.

Edwards, of Cresswell Close in Mainstone, showed little reaction.

Stephen Edwards denies assault actual bodily harm, claiming he struck first in self-defence

Judge Paul Darlow released him on bail to be sentenced tomorrow alongside friend and co-defendant George Pardew. Pardew had already pleaded guilty to the same offence by kicking Mr Yates on the ground after he was knocked to the ground by Edwards.

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The jury heard that two groups clashed at the bar after someone started pushing drinkers. There were allegations of a punch thrown, a cocktail jug emptied over a woman and someone standing on Mr Yates's heel with a stiletto.

Mr Yates said he was carried out of the Union Street bar by four doormen.

Plymouth security guard guilty of punching drinker after row in Union RoomsThe Wetherspoons Union Rooms on Union Street

He added that he turned to look at his girlfriend leaving the club and that was the last thing he recalled before he was on the ground with a police officer calling for an ambulance. Bouncers grabbed and restrained Pardew but Edwards ran away - only to be chased down nearby. Edwards told the jury that he worked as a security guard for 42 Commando at Bickleigh Barracks for Corps Security.

He added he had been suspended without pay after his arrest and was now working as a postman.

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