Concrete slab used to smash Sunderland pub window after drinks pricing row turns ugly

A drunk punter hurled a concrete slab through the window of a busy pub following an argument over the price of drinks

Tuesday, 30th August 2016, 5:00 am
The Guide Post Inn, Ryhope

Alan Crake, 25, had been drinking in the Guide Post Inn in Ryhope on July 10 when he and a friend got involved in a row with staff, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Crake, who works as a kitchen porter in a different pub – The Seaton Lane Inn near Seaham – was with a co-defendant who is being dealt with separately, when the incident occurred at 10pm, on July 10.

Prosecutor Laura Lax said the landlord, Keith Dewart had known both men for 20 years.

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“Mr Dewart was called over to the bar by the bar staff,” Miss Lax said.

“He could hear Crake saying ‘you shouldn’t have taken that money’.

“The landlord left the bar and went to talk to both of them. They were unsteady on their feet and smelled of alcohol.

“The other man started to become abusive and was told to calm down and stop swearing.”

She added: “Mr Crake threw a punch at Mr Dewart. That missed his face and Mr Dewart immediately threw a punch back at him, which hit him in the face.

“He than told them they were barred and locked the door.

“He then heard a loud bang, which he describes as sounding like a brick being thrown at the window.”

Miss Lax added that the CCTV footage showed a concrete slab being thrown by Crake.

The court heard, Mr Dewart went outside in a bid to stop Crake and his pal causing more damage.

“They were both shouting ‘come on then’, as if trying to get him into a fight,” Miss Lax added.

Crake, of Frederick Street, Seaham, admitted criminal damage.

Chris Wilson, defending, said: “The defendant is not charged with an offence of assault, but is charged with an offence of criminal damage.

“On the evening in question, he had been in the pub and there was an argument with the landlord that escalated when they left the pub.

“He then made the erroneous decision to break a window. The whole incident was captured on CCTV and the footage was shown to Mr Crake.

“He has in recent times turned his life around. He was a regular visitor to these courts.

“He’s now in employment, as a kitchen porter at a local pub.

“It appears there was an argument over the price of drinks.

“He is utterly embarrassed, because he does work in a pub, there is genuine remorse.”

Crake was sentenced to a 12-week community order with a 12-week seven-day curfew, between midnight and 8am.

He was told to pay £225 in compensation, £85 costs and £85 surcharge.