A Huddersfield man has been jailed for more than four years after he went “beserk” in a busy Halifax pub.
Matthew Lodge, 47, bit through the ear of one man and headbutted three other people when a night out at the Railway Hotel in Horton Street erupted into violence last December.
Bradford Crown Court heard today (Friday) that Lodge, of Blackmoorfoot Road, Crosland Moor, struggled to cope in confined or crowded places and prosecutor Michael Jowett said the customers were standing “shoulder to shoulder” in the busy pub that night.
The shocking incident began when Lodge, for no reason, kicked a man in the back sending him flying and knocking over a table of drinks.
As another man tried to intervene Lodge turned on him and headbutted him in the face causing his nose to bleed.
Mr Jowett said the man’s aunt told Lodge to stop it, but he then lunged towards her and headbutted her knocking her backwards.
DJ Andrew Ellis described Lodge as “lashing out at everyone” and when he tried to get the defendant to calm down he was headbutted as well causing his nose to pour with blood.
Another customer Tudor Clayton was pushed backwards into the DJ booth by Lodge and Mr Jowett said during a struggle between them Mr Clayton could hear the sound of the defendant’s teeth “biting through the gristle of his left ear”.
The court heard that Lodge also used his fingers to try and gouge Mr Clayton’s eye.
During the melee a woman was trapped under a number of men and a table and suffered a broken wrist.
Lodge, who had previously served five years in prison for causing grievous bodily harm in the 1990s, left the pub, but even when police officers tried to detain him using CS gas and a Taser he assaulted two of them after taking up “a fighting stance”.
The court heard that Lodge suffered from depression and his barrister James Bourne-Arton suggested that the violence had been caused by his client’s anxiety in the busy pub together with the combination of alcohol and his medication.
Mr Bourne-Arton said Lodge was appalled by his behaviour and apologised through him to the victims.
Lodge admitted a series of charges including unlawful wounding, assault and assaulting police officers and was jailed for a total of four years and nine months.
Judge Neil Davey QC told him: “For no good reason, indeed for no reason, you attacked four people in that pub in an episode in which, in everyday language, you went beserk.”
He said Lodge had attacked people he didn’t know and who had done nothing to him.
“All your victims suffered substantial pain, distress and disconfort. Some for long periods of time.”