Drinker James Lawrence attacks Sandwich pub landlord over £11 bar tab
James Lawrence had been
banned from The Red Cow pub in Sandwich
by Paul Hooper
A Sandwich pub landlord had to call on his martial
arts skills to subdue a violent customer - furious over an £11.30
Squiffy scaffolder James Lawrence, 25, claimed he had been
"disrespected" by being asked to stump up the cash.
He confronted Mark Lewins, landlord of The Red Cow pub,
drenching him with beer – before launching an attack with the empty
Jim Harvey, prosecuting, told Canterbury Crown Court how
- SHOVED a retired GP in his 70s into a fruit
machine knocking his spectacles to the floor
- KICKED and repeatedly charged the pub door after being locked
- PUNCHED the landlord in the right eye
- GRABBED a billiard cue and smashed it around the bar and
- SCREAMED at one police officer: "You are a dead man walking"
before headbutting him
Lawrence, of Burch Avenue, Sandwich, was jailed for eight months
after admitting affray.
Mr Harvey told how Lawrence had been barred from the pub for two
years – but had been allowed back just weeks before the outburst in
July this year.
"He had been barred due to the number of fights he had been
involved in and had run up a bar tab of £11.30," he said.
"I will bite your ears and face off... you are a dead man walking..." – James Lawrence to a police officer
"His ire had been stoked by what he regarded was an
inappropriate approach by the landlady Deana Lewins to settle the
He stormed up to Mr Lewins in an aggressive mood, telling him:
"I have been disrespected by your wife. I can't have a go at her...
so I am going to have a go at you."
Mr Harvey added: "Mr Lewins has had some experience in the
martial art of judo and because of that he was able to defend
himself from being struck and was able to restrain him on the
But as other drinkers pulled Lawrence away, he screamed at the
landlord: "I am going to kill you."
After pushing Dr Martin Griffiths into a fruit machine and
punching the landlord, he was arrested by police officers.
But the prosecutor said that as he was being led away he
was inciting other members of his family to "extract retribution" –
before later trying to throw himself out of the police car.
He then told one officer: "I will bite your ears and face off...
you are a dead man walking."
Lawrence was sentenced at
Canterbury Crown Court
Dikon Reid, defending, claimed Lawrence had been upset
after discovering his best friend had committed suicide that
"He had consumed a quantity of alcohol, but he was not seriously
drunk and the only explanation he can offer is that he simply lost
But Judge James O'Mahony told him he believed he had
consumed "a significant quantity of alcohol that evening" and added
that his claim to have been the victim in the incident was "utterly
He added: "Everyone is sorry to hear about the death of your
friend, but that cannot excuse what you did and it is by no means
the first time you have used violence. This was appalling violent
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