Published: 16:12, 06 July 2017
A bouncer at a Deal pub tasered a man on New Year’s Eve who had asked him for a cigarette, a court has heard.
Nathan Cook, 20, claimed he was knocked to the ground by the unnamed door supervisor using the illegal weapon.
Now Judge Julian Smith is demanding to know how a licensed door supervisor was able to use the illegal weapon.
He said: “How is it that a doorman is in possession of a taser? And what has happened to that doorman because that’s a prohibited weapon?”
He said that only police officers with specialist training are allowed to carry the weapon which shoots dart-like electrodes.
Judge Smith was told there was no indication that police officers had investigated the taser incident which happened on New Year’s Eve outside the Port Arms Public House in Beach Street.
But Canterbury Crown Court heard how it led Cook to retaliate by throwing a full can of larger at the bouncer.
It missed and struck innocent Cora Mitchard in her eye – leading to her fears she may have been blinded. Following emergency surgery, she has been told she will only regain 5% to 15% of her sight in one eye.
Judge Smith said he would not have accepted the account of the tasering at face value, but for the fact Ms Mitchard had also witnessed the incident.
He said he had initially regarded the claims “with some incredulity” that Cook had been tasered by a member of staff but added: “The evidence suggests it happened and he should not have been tasered.”
Paul Hogben, defending Cook, said he also believed the incident had been captured on CCTV footage.
“Police didn’t speak to members of staff but the victim saw Cook being tasered and fell to the floor.
Judge Smith added: “I just hope that the police are able to identify the door supervisor who is licensed to carry out his duties.”
He told Cook: “Whatever your conduct towards doorstaff that night there can be no justification for what he then did. He tasered you. That is he used a prohibited weapon against you.”
Cook, of Hyton Drive, Deal, said he had approached the bouncer to ask for a cigarette when he claimed he was knocked to the ground with the weapon.
Mr Hogben said Cook had been drinking and in “a classic transfer of malice” threw the beer can in temper, causing the doorman to duck and the weapon hit Ms Mitchard, who had been sitting awaiting the return of her boyfriend.
The police made a public appeal for witnesses to the attack and Cook came forward and owned up.
Mr Hogben said that Cook was genuinely sorry for causing injury to Ms Mitchard.
But the court heard that while on bail he had gone to another pub and attacked four members of staff in a drunken rage.
Magistrates later gave him a suspended sentence after he admitted charges of common assault.
Now Cook, who admitted causing grievous bodily harm, has been given an 18 month jail sentence suspended for two years, ordered to stay in doors for six months and carry out 75 hours of unpaid work for the community.
After the case a Kent Police spokesman said: "Officers carried out enquiries into an allegation that a Taser may have been used.
"This including talking to a member of staff and reviewing CCTV footage.
There were no confirmed sightings of a Taser, no device was found and there was no evidence at the time to support the claim."
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