Published: 05:00, 19 June 2022
| Updated: 07:48, 19 June 2022
A bank manager threw a rock gig into chaos after he broke a defenceless reveller’s jaw in an unprovoked attack.
Phillip Dagg stopped breathing and had to receive CPR on the dancefloor of The Bull Inn, Dover, after Gavin Longhurst’s cowardly assault.
Longhurst, who comes from the town, claimed Mr Dagg was the aggressor and he acted in self-defence following his arrest.
But a jury at Canterbury Crown Court on Thursday threw out the 32-year-old’s tissue of lies.
Colin Townley, who forms one half of Dover rock duo Cuda and is Mr Dagg's uncle, had taken to the stage as part of pre-Christmas celebrations at the London Road nightspot in December 2018.
During the gig, he witnessed a flash of movement when Longhurst’s pal Aaron Davidson pushed or tapped Mr Dagg from behind, jurors heard.
And as he turned to face Davidson, Longhurst delivered the unexpected blow, which knocked Mr Dagg “off his feet” and onto the floor unconscious.
Speaking from the stand, Mr Townley dubbed the attack “horrific”, which caused his nephew to go “down with some force.”
“It was horrific, (Longhurst) took two quick paces, jumped into the air and punched downwards with all his weight behind it,” he said.
“He went down like a sack of potatoes - he went down with some force.”
Mr Townley said he followed Longhurst and Mr Davidson outside where he witnessed them fleeing the scene in a white BMW.
He told jurors that when he returned to the venue: “Phillip was laying on the floor and he had stopped breathing.”
With the aid of a 999 call-handler, onlookers worked to performed CPR on Mr Dagg for “about 20 minutes,” before he was passed into the care of paramedics, the court heard.
Giving evidence, barmaid Lauren Maddison told how she and pub boss Micky Mills refused to serve Mr Dagg alcohol moments before the attack.
She said he was visibly intoxicated, unsteady on his feet, and had “swayed” into Mr Davidson, who became visibly irate.
“I think Mr Davidson thought Mr Dagg was being aggressive and took the wrong impression and pushed him,” she went on.
“From what I remember, Longhurst had noticed, came over and punched him in the face.”
She described how Mr Dagg “went flying back and upwards,” for about “a meter” before hitting the ground.
“A lot of people were around him giving him CPR - chest compressions,” she continued.
Asked if Mr Dagg had been aggressive, she replied: “No.”
Guitarist Albert Thorpe told how he was taking a rest after performing with Cuda when he saw the attack unfold.
“‘I heard a crack and Philip fell down.
“One minute he was alright the next he went just straight down,” he said.
“What happened after that?” Prosecutor Richard Scott asked.
“He was on the floor, he was motionless, the person who hit him went past me to go out of the door,” he replied.
“(Longhurst) came towards me, I was not far away from the door, and I said ‘what are you doing?’”
“And he said ‘I’m going, I don’t want more trouble.’”
“Phillip was on the floor with his eyes open, emotionless,” he said.
Mr Dagg, who did not give evidence during the trial, was treated for a broken jaw.
Longhurst would go on to lie about his violent actions, telling officers and the courts he was acting in self-defence on behalf of Mr Davidson.
Phil Rowley, defending, told the court during cross-examination: “I’m going to suggest Mr Dagg was drunk, swaying onto people, was behaving aggressively and pulled a fist back towards the defendant.”
Jurors unanimously convicted Longhurst for causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Dagg after deliberating for three hours.
Longhurst, of Manor Road, was granted bail and will be sentenced on August 15.