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Ex-landlord ‘attacked’ by security guard inside empty Leeds pub he used to run

A former Leeds landlord has claimed he was “assaulted” inside his old beloved pub by the pub company’s caretaker.

David Holmes, ex-publican of The Sportsman Inn, Morley, claims at one point during the alleged assault he had to barricade himself behind a door for safety. He says the following day, he had to visit hospital to seek medical treatment.

The pub, on Hunger Hill, was abruptly shut down in March, and David and his family were made to leave the following month. David, 31, ran the pub with his partner Melanie Robinson, and they lived there with their three children.

The couple couldn’t bear to part ways with the pub they loved. They had dreams of making it their own, but the pub company, Admiral Taverns, received “a range of offers” for the property, leaving its future uncertain.

Determined to keep a watchful eye on the pub’s fate, David moved into a property on the opposite side of the road, ready to put a “spanner in the works” of any plans that might threaten its community legacy. And on a fateful Friday, June 9, he entered the pub to collect some post.

The 31-year-old, who works a train technician, claims he is legally allowed to enter the pub as the paperwork to release his and Mel’s tenancy has still not yet been signed, as the payment for their exit has not yet been agreed. Admiral Taverns denies this.

David said he calmly explained this situation to the caretaker, who has been stationed there to protect the pub from unauthorised intrusion, but was allegedly assaulted after entering the pub.

David said: “The security man assaulted me. I didn’t show him any threatening ways, or anything like that. He just pushed me over the tables.”

This resulted in his arm being “badly bruised and sprained” and David says he had to visit the hospital the following day.

Continuing his harrowing account, the ex-landlord reveals that as he attempted to exit, he found the door had been locked, trapping him inside. He quickly sought refuge behind another door within the building, attempting to shield himself from harm. However, the caretaker managed to reach him and allegedly subjected him to another assault.

The pain and stress were unbearable for the former publican, who insists he was taken by complete surprise. David said: “It was very painful, and I was very stressed out. I was absolutely fuming about it.

“I wasn’t expecting it, it was out of the blue. I couldn’t defend myself as I didn’t know it was going to happen. He was just going crazy. Because he damaged my arm, I couldn’t defend myself.”

‘Enquiries ongoing’

West Yorkshire Police confirmed a 57-year-old was arrested in connection with the assault, and investigations are ongoing. A spokesperson for the force said: “Police are investigating a report of an assault following an incident at The Sportsman Inn in Morley on Friday, June 9.

“The aggrieved suffered a minor injury and a 57-year-old man was arrested in relation to the matter. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Admiral Taverns has said the caretaker was released without charge hours after the incident. A spokesperson for the pub group said: “Admiral Taverns is aware of this incident.

(Source: Leeds Live)

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