Man left brain damaged after town bar altercation

A MAN has been left wheelchair-bound and brain damaged following a bust-up outside a Weston bar.

Sean Payne is accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Reuben Lock as he celebrated his 40th birthday at Hotshotz pub.

However, solicitors representing 42-year-old Payne say he was acting to protect others from Mr Lock’s violent behaviour, after he hit out at three people, including a teenage boy and his auntie.

Bristol Crown Court heard yesterday (Wednesday) that the incident unfolded after Mr Lock drank a large quantity of alcohol and took heroin at the now-defunct bar in Alexandra Parade last September.

Tara Wolfe, prosecuting, said Mr Lock had begun causing trouble in the pub and had thrown a punch at the son of landlord, who was working behind the bar.

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He was ushered outside by a friend, but got into an altercation with a 16-year-old boy, who he headbutted.

A 20-year-old woman, believed by the court to be the auntie of the youth, rushed outside and attacked Mr Lock, who twice punched her to the ground.

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All of this was captured by CCTV footage played to the jury.

Miss Wolfe said: “He was behaving in an appalling manner, there is no doubt, but then the situation calmed down.”

When Payne, of Osmond Road, Weston, left the bar, Mr Lock started shouting at him.

Following a confrontation, the CCTV film showed Payne throw a single punch at Mr Lock, which knocked him to the ground.

Miss Wolfe said: “There is no doubt that the defendant did punch the complainant, because it is very clear in the CCTV footage and there is no doubt that there was very serious damage caused to the complainant.”

Mr Lock fell to the ground, hitting his head twice on the wall and pavement, and went into a seizure.

Paramedics were called and Mr Lock was taken to Weston General Hospital.

He suffered several bleeds on the brain and Miss Wolfe said that without the immediate medical treatment, he may have died.

In addition to the brain damage, he suffered a stroke which paralysed him down the left-hand side of his body.

Mr Lock, who has a teenage daughter, has been in a wheelchair since, spending months at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol and now living at a rehabilitation centre in Salisbury.

However, Jason Taylor, defending, said Payne had intervened only to protect the woman hit by Mr Lock, and struck out only in self-defence in response to Mr Lock’s violent behaviour.

Mr Taylor said: “People on the ground were grateful that Sean Payne had stopped Reuben Lock causing people harm. There was only one aggressor that night, and it wasn’t the man in the dock.”

The trial continues.

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