Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Man, 32, denies assaulting Silsden landlord
A 32-year-old man accused of punching and biting the landlord of a social club told a jury he acted in self-defence because he had been attacked from behind and was being throttled.
Tony Sherwin denies assaulting Neil Cullen and causing him actual bodily harm on March 31, 2012.
It is alleged that Sherwin, of West View, Silsden, threw a bottle after arguing with his girlfriend and went on to assault Mr Cullen on the night of a Karaoke talent contest.
Sherwin told the court he went to the club at 6.30pm and played snooker upstairs.
He had only lived in Silsden for two months and did not realise that Mr Cullen was landlord of the club.
Sherwin said he drunk up to eight pints of beer during the evening and was “very fresh”.
He deliberately knocked his girlfriend’s empty glass to the floor, smashing it, after they argued because he wanted to go home.
As he was “storming off” he says he was attacked from behind, rugby tackled to the floor and throttled with both hands by Mr Cullen.
“He was kneeling on my chest and his grip was getting tighter and tighter. I was being strangled to death. I was about to pass out, turning purple,” Sherwin said.
He said he kicked out at Mr Cullen, aiming for his chest, to make him let go.
Sherwin said he was huddled in a corner, helpless, as blows rained on him from Mr Cullen’s friends as the landlord continued to throttle him.
“He’s a big chap and I am only a skinny person, so I was kicking him as hard as I could,” Sherwin said.
He agreed that he punched and scratched Mr Cullen as he got to his feet.
“I had boot marks on my side and my ribs, bruising on my arms and a purple thumb print and bruises and swelling round my throat,” Sherwin said.
He agreed that he had a previous conviction for threatening behaviour, dating from 2000, one for criminal damage, from 2005, and one for burglary with intent to steal, four years ago.
The trial continues.