‘Rottweiler’ had eye gouged in bloody casino bouncer brawl

Court pic Craig Pearson.
Court pic Craig Pearson.

Tipping the scales at just nine stone, Craig Pearson may not instantly strike people as much of a handful

But after swiping a tips jar, the boozy 31-year-old found himself involved in a bloody tussle with kickboxing bouncer Daniel Seammen - before sinking his teeth into the doorman’s forearm.

Opera House Casino

Opera House Casino

But in order to end the exhausting scrap, the door supervisor shunned his martial arts background in favour of an all together more primal form of self defence - an eye gouge.

He rammed his finger into the left eye of Pearson, which Scarborough Magistrates’ heard caused blood to gush down the Eastfield man’s face.

However, it was Pearson who stood on trial for the Opera House Casino fracas in the early hours of 20 January last year.

And at the hearing on Thursday January 16, Pearson was likened to a “Rottweiler”, after it took a group of doormen, police and night marshals to restrain him - while he threatened to bite them all.

But although the threat turned out to be a dud, Mr Seammen said he was terrified after Pearson’s bite cut through three layers of clothing.

“I panicked,” admitted the 37-year-old.

“I didn’t know if he was going to hit a muscle or a vein.”

And defending accusations that the eye gouge was excessive, he added: “I thought it was the only thing I could do, otherwise I was going to have a chunk missing out of my left arm.”

But Pearson’s solicitor Marcus Topham aired serious concerns about the case against his client.

Despite glowing praise from Mr Seammen over the quality of the audio and cameras at the St Thomas Street venue, it emerged in court that no CCTV footage of the lobby ruckus existed.

This was in spite of the court hearing that arresting officer Sgt Rebecca Lalor quizzed Mr Seammen in the camera room.

Mr Topham was also left perplexed by the police’s failings not to take a statement from another doorman involved in the incident, who was referred to only as ‘Alec’.

And a string of discrepancies were unearthed in mitigation between police and victim statements filed merely hours after the incident, and testimony given under oath.

Pearson, of Caymer Road, claimed it was he himself who was the true victim of the incident, stating that he had acted in self defence, with pictures of his injuries displayed.

But the court heard how he became so enraged, he managed to force two bouncers to the floor - despite his slight frame.

“He was one of the strongest kids that I’ve ever dealt with, and I’ve had to deal with some big blokes,” added Mr Seammen.

But despite Mr Topham claiming criminal charges could ultimately have been brought against one of the doormen his client claimed had left him bloodied, the presiding magistrates ultimately believed Mr Seammen’s account of what unfolded that night to be “credible”.

They found unemployed Pearson guilty of assault and resisting arrest. He had previously admitted using threatening words or behaviour. He was slapped with a 12-month community order, compromising of 150 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay a £60 surcharge and £200 costs, and handed a 12 months exclusion order at the casino.