A drunken customer knocked out a pub landlady in a homophobic attack

A man punched two landladies and knocked one unconscious after shouting homophobic abuse at them.

Nigel James Tomlinson, a married father of three, shouted homophobic abuse and then attacked Melanie and Sue Henning at the Dog and Partridge in Baxenden on October 11.

Burnley Crown Court has heard that the couple, who had only recently taken over the pub, became increasingly concerned about Tomlinson’s behaviour on the night.

“They talk of the defendant acting inappropriately and disturbing other users of the public house,” said Holly Nelson, prosecuting, according to ThisIsLancashire.

“After uttering a number of homophobic comments around Melanie he directed homophobic abuse at the barman as well,” Nelson said.

Tomlinson, 39, was thrown out of the pub by Melanie but returned at 12.45am as the couple were locking up, the court heard.

“Why did you throw me out? What was that for?” Tomlinson, an electrician, asked Melanie.

Nelson said Tomlinson then punched Melanie in the face, twice, knocking her unconscious before punching Sue once.

Tomlinson pleaded guilty to two counts of assault resulting in actual bodily harm.

His lawyer, Jane Dagnall, said he was drinking too much at the time of the attack as he was worried about his mothers health. Tomlinson’s mother has since died.

“He is very upset by his actions on the night and drink certainly had a part to play. This certainly does cross the custody threshold. He recognises what is going on here. He has apologised for the homophobic comments made,” Dagnall told the court.

The judge, Simon Medland, said, “This offence was aggravated because of the homophobic comments and attitude displayed. This was an assault on pub landladies at their own premises.”

Medland gave Tomlinson a four-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay the Hennings’ £1,000 each in compensation and £500 in costs.

He has also been given a five-year restraining order, effectively barring him from the pub.