Battered builder fights on after bar bounce

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2014

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Wildly varying witness accounts mean a bouncer accused of injuring a bar patron at Upper Hutt's Cossie Club is off the hook - but his alleged victim says his fight is not over.

Police have decided not to lay charges against a bouncer accused of roughing up a bar patron outside the Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club in December.

However, the club has dismissed the security firm that employed the bouncer, while his alleged victim contemplates civil legal action to get compensation for lost work.

Longstanding Cossie Club member Darren Workman is awaiting his second round of surgery after the late-night altercation that took place shortly before New Year.

Mr Workman claimed he was ejected from the club after another patron slapped him and he responded. He said the bouncer in question then picked him up by the lower legs, took him outside and threw him to the ground.

The builder spent New Year in hospital and is unable to work while suffering from torn ligaments and a broken kneecap.

The bouncer accused of causing his injuries has since talked to police and sent remorseful messages to Mr Workman's family.

Upper Hutt police this week told Mr Workman that they would be unable to lay charges as there were too many different accounts from bar patrons.

Senior Sergeant Steve Harwood said the detective in charge of the case had interviewed 22 witnesses from the bar, along with the bouncer and Mr Workman.

There had been "contradictory" accounts, including accusations about Mr Workman's aggression, that made a successful prosecution unlikely, Mr Harwood explained.

Mr Workman accepted the police could not pursue the case. However, he maintained that his actions that night did not merit the physical force dealt to him and he wanted to take a civil case to seek compensation for his lost building contracts.

"I'm still in bed and it's a real bugger . . . I still believe someone's got to be liable," Mr Workman said.

The bouncer was stood down from his job after the incident.

"I didn't mean for that," he wrote of Mr Workman's injuries in messages. "Yeah kind of lost my s..t at the last bit. Man I don't know how I did that."

The Cosmopolitan Club extended its condolences to Mr Workman. "It was a very unfortunate incident and not something we want happening in our club," manager Dean Candy said.

The club had since received apologies from the bouncer's employer but had opted to drop that security firm.

New Zealand Security Association chief executive Gregory Watts said bouncers' work was the most "high risk" area of security in terms of violence because they dealt with people who had been drinking.

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- Wellington

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