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Violence getting worse in pubs says doorman from The Farm House in West Malling

A doorman who was attacked by three drunk punters has spoken out about a night of violence which left 10 people injured.

Dennis Tree believes lack of sufficient policing is causing some pub goers to run riot.

Police were called to The Farm House in High Street, West Malling, on Friday after a fracas broke out just before 10pm. Drinkers and door staff were hurt.

Police want to speak to these men about the incident(14992504)
Police want to speak to these men about the incident(14992504)

The force has since released CCTV images of five men officers would like to speak to.

Mr Tree from Maidstone, who is head doorman at the pub, said he has never seen anything like it. He had spotted three men earlier in the night when he had to stop them from taking glasses out into the high street, but they were polite and did as he asked.

Just a few hours later, he sent two other security guards inside to deal with them after they were seen slapping each other and bar staff.

The 58-year-old said: “I sent two of my best guys in, really professional and polite and they asked the three men to leave.

“As they walked about one of the men punched one of the doormen from behind, it was a cheap shot.

“I have been in the area for 30 years and in the last 10 years it has also started to go downhill..." Mr Tree

“They battered him and held him down, kicked him, stamped on him whilst he was out cold.

“They knocked both of the doormen unconscious and picked them up and kept hitting them.

“One doorman was throwing up, they were sliding down the door and there was blood up the wall.

“I was punched and knocked unconscious, I don’t remember the second punch I just saw it on CCTV afterwards. I have got a black eye that has just started opening up.

“When I came round I put one of the doormen into the recovery position after he was knocked out a second time and he was choking on his own blood.”

Mr Tree, who is also a security guard at Medway Magistrates Court, recalls a woman and customers being hurt. When the bar manager tried to call police from outside he was attacked with people shouting: ‘Stop you’re killing him’.

An ambulance at the scene last week
An ambulance at the scene last week

He asked the Kent Messenger not to be pictured and added: “They were bullies it was one of the worst things I have ever seen in a pub.”

A police spokesman confirmed 10 people had facial and head injuries.

Mr Tree said when police arrived there were only two officers to start with who then had to wait for back up. In the end there were around eight at the scene with a dog.

He added: “ There are not enough police they are trying to their job but it’s not working.

“We are professional and do a policing-type role and we don’t want to go back to the old days but we don’t have any back up.You are doing your job with one hand behind your back now.

“I’m not putting my life on the line without police help, I don’t know if I will go back. This isn’t just happening in West Malling, it’s Maidstone and Headcorn as well.

The Farmhouse Pub in West Malling over the weekend.Picture: Phil Lee
The Farmhouse Pub in West Malling over the weekend.Picture: Phil Lee

“I have been in the area for 30 years and in the last 10 years it has also started to go downhill.

“I have watched it deteriorate and people know they can get away with it now.

“They have cut police and got rid of CCTV and it’s out of hand, officers don’t stand a chance. How can you go out in Maidstone now and feel safe?

“Unless police sort it out someone will get killed. I’ve been bottled, knocked out and hit about, there is no respect any more. People have been sliced open, it’s shocking.”

He claimed there is a problem with ‘plastic gangsters - people who start fights and believe they can get away without any repercussions.

The Farmhouse is still open. Staff did not want to comment. Since the incident at The Farmhouse, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council’s licensing authority has been working with police. Anyone who can help is asked to call 01622 604100 quoting 46/149022/19.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.


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