A MAN suffered horrific injuries which have left him with permanent scarring after someone grabbed him round the neck at a Stratford nightclub and smashed a glass into his face.
But the man accused of carrying out the cold-blooded attack has been cleared after the prosecution’s main witness claimed he had lied to the police about who was responsible.
Daniel Turoczy, aged 24, of Wordsworth Avenue, Stratford, had denied wounding victim Simon Newbury with intent. And after three hours 39 minutes at the end of a dramatic four-day trial, a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him not guilty.
Prosecutor Lee Marklew had told the jury: “The Crown say Daniel Turoczy deliberately thrust a pint glass into the face of Simon Newbury, a man he knew, when the resentment he had been harbouring against him exploded into violence.”
The incident took place in the beer garden of Maison nightclub in Arden Street, Stratford, in October 2011.
It left Mr Newbury, who had gone to the club with two friends including Emmanuel Wain, with “quite awful cuts” which needed 28 stitches and have left him with unsightly scarring.
Mr Marklew alleged: “It was plainly carried out in order to teach Mr Newbury a lesson. It happened because his presence plainly irked Mr Turoczy, given the previous needle between them.”
He said the two men had fallen out over a debt of about £100 which Turoczy believed he was owed by Mr Newbury.
Mr Newbury and his friends were outside having a smoke when, it was said, Mr Turoczy came out to take a look, went back inside and came out again with a pint glass in his hand.
“The Crown say he did so bent on violence. In a quite cowardly act, he grabbed Mr Newbury from behind with his left arm round his neck, pulled his head back and brought the pint glass into his face,” said Mr Marklew.
A doorman quickly intervened, but while he was then distracted by Mr Newbury’s injuries, the attacker fled over the wall of the beer garden.
When Mr Turoczy was arrested and interviewed towards the end of 2011 and again in August last year, he made no comment.
But when he entered his not guilty plea in December, his defence statement indicated that although he had been at Maison earlier that night, he was at the home of a young woman in Wellesbourne at the time of the attack.
Giving evidence, Mr Newbury said he saw Mr Turoczy come to the door of the beer garden, ‘clock’ him and go back inside before he ‘stormed out’ with some friends a few minutes later.
“I got caught by surprise. It was all quite quick. He pulled me back with his left arm round my neck. He was going on about money, and I told him to f*** off. I saw him pretty much as the glass hit my face. I turned round and was going to go for him. I couldn’t properly see out of my right eye because of blood in it,” he added.
The next witness was to have been Mr Wain, but he had left court at lunchtime and not returned, having told Mr Marklew he would rather face the judge than “those out there.”
So Judge Richard Griffith-Jones issued a warrant for his arrest, and the police arrested him at the tyre firm where he works the next morning and took him to court in custody.
Taken into the witness box by a dock officer, he was questioned by Mr Marklew, but responded: “I can’t really remember much about it, to be honest mate.”
Asked if reading his witness statement had jogged his memory, and whether he remembered making the statement, Mr Wain replied: “Not really.”
After further obstructive replies, Mr Marklew applied to question him as a ‘hostile’ witness and to cross-examine him about his statement, which was granted by the judge.
It was pointed out that in his statement Mr Wain said Mr Turoczy was the attacker, but he answered: “All I had was what I’d been told by Mr Newbury as a template of what to say.
“He’s a big lad. I don’t want to get into trouble for not saying what he wants me to say.
“He told me just make sure to make it clear that he [Turoczy] had done the attack on him. I had been told to say that Dan did it.”
Accused of changing his story to help Mr Turoczy, Mr Wain replied: “No; I’m telling the truth now because I’d made up lies about it in the past.”
In his evidence Mr Turoczy said some friends from a football team had persuaded him to go to Maison, but that he left at 11.30 because he had promised to pick up two young women in Leamington to take them home. He said he collected them at midnight and drove to the home of one of them in Wellesbourne, where he stayed the night.
Mr Turoczy said he had lent Mr Newbury £100 which had not been repaid, but that their falling out over it was ‘not a major fall-out,’ because he earned £24,000 a year as a bricklayer so it was not a large amount to him.
In the absence of the jury during the trial Mr Wain was fined £1,000 for contempt of court over his original failure to remain at court to give evidence.
Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “I am aware of the pressures that there can be on a witness and of the anxieties involved; but you do not take the decision into your own hands on whether to give evidence, or else justice would not be administered.”
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