‘Slapstick’ turns sour at Wigan pub

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A WIGAN pub landlord attacked two of his customers in a fight over a fairy cake.

A court heard that David Taylor didn’t see the funny side when one of the buns was pushed into his nose – even though he had earlier taken part in the antics by tipping some of them over his victim, Craig Hartley.

Wigan magistrates heard that the publican’s response to the cake in the face was to headbutt Mr Hartley, and then thump him on the side of the head.

When fellow customer Hayley Ashcroft tried to intervene, Taylor also punched her in the face, in foul-mouthed terms told her he hated her, and ordered her out of his pub.

The 37-year-old, of Spindle Hillock, Garswood, pleaded guilty to two common assaults when he appeared at Wigan Magistrates’ Court.

Jan Urey, prosecuting, told Judge Anthony Carr that, on November 20 last year, the two victims, who were known to Taylor, visited The Park Hotel in Wigan Road, Ashton, for a social event.

They and several friends were sitting at a table, and when some cakes were brought to the table some of them, as a joke, started wiping blobs of icing on each others’ faces.

Taylor came over with two plates and pretended to tip one of them over the guests. A girl called Sam seized hold of one of the plates, and Mr Hartley made a grab for the other one, but it was alleged that Taylor tipped the second plate over him and everyone laughed.

Continuing what he thought was a bit of a slapstick exchange, Mr Hartley then pushed one of the buns into Taylor’s nose.

The landlord’s humour then ran out and he said: “I am going to ******* kill him,” headbutted Mr Hartley in the face, and punched him once on the left temple.

Miss Ashcroft got between the two of them and asked Taylor what he was doing, at which point he punched her in the right eye and said: “I ******* hate you: get out of my pub!”

The party then left and Mr Hartley contacted the police.

Miss Urey said that the injuries to both victims were minor.

Bill Pearson, defending, told Judge Carr that Taylor had been suffering from depression and “his life had disintegrated in the last few months”.

The case was adjourned for a probation report.

Taylor will appear for sentencing at the same court on April 21.