Director beaten after showing no interest in dancer, court told

A company director's lack of interest in a Stringfellows dancer ended with him being floored by a "devastating" punch and left unconscious on the pavement outside, a court heard today.

Paul Lewis's decision to "decline her persistent attentions" and refuse her dance floor invitation allegedly triggered the unwanted involvement of surveyor Jack Burgess and his Monaco-based investor brother Toby.

"They approached me without me knowing who they were," the businessman claimed.

Mr Lewis, who had spent the day at the Institute of Directors before popping into the central London nightclub with his partner, said he quickly found himself on the receiving end of some "light pushing and aggression".

So he decided to push back.

However, the confrontation was "very quickly" spotted by bouncers and all three were thrown out.

"I don't remember anything else until I was lying in hospital with a serious amount of injuries," Mr Lewis told London's Southwark Crown Court.

"I got a fractured eye socket, my face was extremely bruised, I remembers I had 12 stitches coming from the inside of my mouth to the outside, and I broke both my incisor teeth," he explained, holding his new dental bridge up to jurors.

Peter Zinner, prosecuting, told the court that despite Mr Lewis's lack of memory CCTV and eye-witness evidence had been able to fill in the gaps.

He said Roger Howe, operations director at the "famous" nightclub, would tell the court while he thought all three men were drunk, Mr Lewis was clearly the worst affected.

"They appeared to be shouting at each other, possibly continuing the dispute that had taken place inside the club.

"He then saw Jack Burgess punch the victim very hard in the face ... pushed against some wire fencing erected to fence off some road works adjacent to the pavement."

Mr Zinner claimed it was a "devastating" blow.

"Mr Howe will go on to say that the two men, Jack and Toby Burgess, then punched the victim several times about the head. The victim, who appeared to have been impaired by the first punch ... was unable at that stage to defend himself."

Mr Zinner claimed the company director then slumped to the floor, face first, apparently unconscious.

"He made no attempt to break his fall. His arms were limp, hanging by his side."

The barrister added: "Mr Howe then ordered his security staff to detain the defendants due to the severity of the attack. Police and ambulance were called."

Jack Burgess, 25, of Chaldon Road, Fulham, south-west London, denies one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm on 6 March this year, while his 35-year-old brother pleads not guilty to assault by beating.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.

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