Bulger father denies assault in nightclub

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The Independent Online
THE FATHER and an uncle of James Bulger, the two-year-old murdered by schoolboys, hit two brothers with bottles and glasses in a nightclub brawl, a jury was told yesterday.

The attack by Ralph Bulger, 27, and his brother Phillip, 29, both from Kirkby, Merseyside, was to 'settle the score' over a previous assault on Phillip by one of the men, Manchester Crown Court was told.

Geoffrey Lowe, for the prosecution, said the incident in Kirkby last September was not connected in any way with the 'tragic events' surrounding the death of Ralph's son, James. Both men denied alternative charges of wounding and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Mr Lowe said Gary and Mark Loftus were taken to hospital with cuts after the fight, which he alleged was a joint attack by the Bulger brothers. He said Phillip Bulger had been involved in an alleged assault by Gary Loftus in February 1991, when he received hospital treatment for a fractured cheekbone.

Mr Lowe said the Bulgers confronted the Loftus brothers in the club last September. There was a short exchange of words before the Bulger brothers attacked Gary Loftus. Mark Loftus was knocked to the ground when he went to help his brother. Doormen intervened and ejected the Bulgers and Mark, but the fight resumed in the car park.

Phillip Bulger told police he had forgotten about the 1991 attack and was not seeking revenge. He claimed he was defending himself after being attacked by the Loftus brothers. Ralph also denied there was a grudge.

James Bulger was murdered in February last year by two schoolboys who battered him to death and left his body on a railway line after luring him from his mother at a shopping centre. The killers are now detained at Her Majesty's pleasure.