Married nightclub owner found guilty of assaulting ‘girlfriend’

A ‘COWARDLY’ nightclub owner from Weston who admitted ‘breaking the occasional marriage vow’, has been found guilty of assaulting his ‘girlfriend’.

Married Vassos Siangolis, of Uphill Road South, stood trial at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges on March 31.

The 42-year-old, who owns bar Seven in Beach Road, was arrested at about 3am on the night of the Weston carnival, on November 16, after CCTV operators saw him push Carla Cowlin to the ground.

Although Ms Cowlin did not wish to press charges, the Crown Prosecution Service went ahead on the basis of the CCTV evidence.

Kevin Withey, prosecuting, said: “I suggest she was his girlfriend and this was a domestic incident.

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“He clearly pushes her over and she was left sprawled on the floor and he walks away leaving her scrambling around looking for her phone.

“This is what might be described as a cowardly act.”

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The footage showed Siangolis pushing Ms Cowlin, causing her to fall to the ground in Royal Parade.

Siangolis, who used to train in martial arts, claimed he acted in self-defence as he thought she was going to spit at him. He insisted he used ‘zero force’.

Mr Withey said the pair had been friends for about eight years but Ms Cowlin had described Siangolis as her ‘boyfriend’. Before the incident, Ms Cowlin had told Siangolis she had felt ‘s***’ after seeing him with his wife and children in the bar earlier in the evening.

After his family left, Siangolis took two bottles of wine and joined Ms Cowlin for drinks at her friend’s house before the pair returned to Seven.

The court heard how a ‘misunderstanding’ occurred after Ms Cowlin said she showed her mother photos of Siangolis on her phone which he did not approve of.

In a police interview, read out to the court, Siangolis admitted it was him on CCTV.

When pressed for more information in the 41-minute interview he said: “I’m not whiter than white, and maybe I have broken the occasional marriage vow, but that doesn’t make me a woman beater.”

On the day of the trial Siangolis insisted he had only been friends with the victim and they had never had a relationship.

Siangolis said he had followed Cowlin out of the club as she was drunk and he wanted to make sure she got home safely after their row.

David Bird, defending, said Sangolis was acting in self-defence as he feared the victim would spit at him, as she had done earlier.

Magistrate Jeremy Williams said: “What we saw was a violent shove you made to her when she was turned away from you and your body language looked aggressive.”

Sangolis was given a 12-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay �775 in court costs.

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