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City Wall in Rochester owner Sanjay Raval 'grabbed man around the throat' after breaking up disturbance


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A bar boss went out to break up a disturbance and ended up committing an assault, a court heard.

Sanjay Raval grabbed hold of Jake Swaisland around the throat and dumped him on the ground “like a sack of potatoes” outside City Wall Wine Bar in Rochester, it was alleged.

Mr Swaisland became unconscious and woke up on the ground covered in blood.

City Wall Wine Bar owner Sanjay Raval
City Wall Wine Bar owner Sanjay Raval

Maidstone Crown Court was told he had been with friends to the City Wall, managed by 50-year-old Raval, on New Year’s Eve in 2017.

Mr Swaisland was across the road from the High Street bar shortly after midnight when Raval saw there was “some sort of disorder” starting, said prosecutor Ian Foinette.

“He went over and took hold of Mr Swaisland around his chest,” he told a jury.

“According to Mr Swaisland it was around his throat. It caused him to lose consciousness. He was dropped on the ground by Mr Raval.”

Mr Swaisland needed stitches around his left eye and he also had an injury to his mouth.

City Wall Wine Bar owner Sanjay Raval
City Wall Wine Bar owner Sanjay Raval

He told police he had been holding a cigarette for somebody else when Raval, who had run the bar for 20 years, went over and grabbed him.

Mr Foinette said CCTV showed Raval pulling Mr Swaisland backwards. Mr Swaisland appeared to go limp and Raval then dropped him like a sack of potatoes on the ground.

“He said he felt a choking sensation around his throat as he lost consciousness,” said Mr Foinette.

“He remembers waking up on the ground covered in blood. He went to the police station to complain.”

Mr Foinette told jurors they would have to decide if Raval, who also formerly managed the Rising Sun in Delce Road until he left in April last year, acted reasonably “by pulling him back by the throat and dumping him on the ground”.

Raval, of Almond Grove, Hempstead, denies assault causing actual bodily harm.

The trial continues.

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