Pub attack witness: 'there was no knife'

A KEY witness, who said he saw a man threaten an Ipswich landlord with a foot-long butcher's knife, has admitted lying in court.Stephen Rozier, a local at the Orwell Mariner pub, told a jury he witnessed a barred local threaten pub landlord Victor May with a knife.

A KEY witness, who said he saw a man threaten an Ipswich landlord with a foot-long butcher's knife, has admitted lying in court.

Stephen Rozier, a local at the Orwell Mariner pub, told a jury he witnessed a barred local threaten pub landlord Victor May with a knife.

But, after describing the knife's eight-inch blade and the thrust of the attack made on the landlord, Rozier admitted there was no knife.

Under cross examination, he admitted: "I saw him pull something out but it wasn't a knife."


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The court heard how pub regular Rozier, a friend of both Victor May and his brother Peter, invented this piece of evidence.

Publican Victor May, 53, and his brother Peter had claimed they were threatened by Glen Fulcher.

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Yet Ipswich Crown Court heard that it was in fact the May brothers who attacked Fulcher with a baseball bat, leaving him with a broken arm.

Defender Hugh Vass said: "Mr May keeps a baseball bat behind the bar and on the night in question both men were tooled up with metal baseball bats and beat up my client near the Vernon Road bus shelter to such an extent he broke his arm."

The court had earlier heard how Victor May locked himself and family inside his pub while Fulcher was alleged to have wielded a foot-long butchers' knife outside.

Mr May claimed the incident at closing time on June 17, 2002, was a "revenge attack" for barring Fulcher six months before.

He said: "Fulcher came into the bar being abusive from the start. I had banned him six months ago and asked him to leave.

"I told him, 'I don't want your rubbish in my pub.' But when he got outside he started banging on the windows.

"I went with my brother Peter to investigate and then, all of a sudden he pulled a knife out of nowhere. It frightened the life out of me. He was shouting and really crazy.

"He made a lunge with the knife at my brother. Had Peter been standing any closer to him he would have been stabbed."

Victor May, his brother Peter and his wife Patricia, sought refuge in the Vernon Street pub while Fulcher, from Nightingale Road, Ipswich, went on the rampage outside.

Mr May, 53, continued: "He went round to the back door was banging on the windows, he was absolutely crazy."

Fulcher denied criminal damage and possessing an offensive weapon.

Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday that Mr May's efforts to clean up the reputation of the Orwell Mariner had gone too far.

The court heard Mr May had a string of previous convictions dating back to the age of 14. The most recent of which was for common assault on his ex wife in 1997 for which he pleaded guilty and received a two year conditional discharge.

Both Peter and Victor May, a publican for 24 years, denied the existence of a baseball bat.

In a police statement Fulcher said he was drunk at the time of the incident but denied there was a knife.

The trial continues.

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