'Wild West bar brawl' at Lymington Royal British Legion club

The Royal British Legion Club in Lymington

The Royal British Legion Club in Lymington

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter, New Forest

A FANCY dress disco at a Royal British Legion club in Hampshire descended into a “Wild West” bar room brawl, a court heard.

The venue in Lymington, pictured above right, was packed when a fight broke out on the dance floor between women dressed as pirates, characters from the musical Grease and others wearing pink tutus and black leotards.

One woman dressed as a green fairy ended up unconscious under a table and people tried to take pictures of her on their mobile phones as she was being tended to, the court was told.

Another woman was left with blood streaming down her face, it was said.

The court heard that up to 200 people had attended the Valentine’s night fancy dress disco on February 16 last year. Witnesses described how the mood changed from everyone having a good time to “absolute chaos”.

When several men stepped in to try to calm the situation, Lee Fry was punched so hard his jaw had to be wired together and he still cannot bite down properly a year later.

One reveller who claimed to have witnessed the punch told the court: “The next thing I saw was Lee going backwards. He slid along the floor for some distance – about 15 feet – with someone on top of him. I thought Lee was dead.”

Jurors at Bournemouth Crown Court took just 30 minutes to find Barry Cave not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm.

One witness had identified him as the man who had caused Mr Fry’s injuries and said he was wearing a biscuit-coloured top. But CCTV images showed him in a pink polo shirt that police later found in a washing basket at his home, the court heard.

Giving evidence Mr Cave, 48, of Priestlands Road, Pennington, said one of the other women injured in the fight was lying on the dance floor and looked as if she needed help.

He admitted he had hit a man standing in his way in self defence after the other reveller tried to punch him.

However he denied causing Mr Fry grievous bodily harm saying he had not been the man he had struck.

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