Director of hotel and spa guilty of assaulting two employees

Clarice House hotel and spa
Clarice House hotel and spa

The managing director of Clarice House hotel and spa has been found guilty of assaulting two employees of the business during a staff party.

Stuart King, 47, used ‘physical force’ against the two victims after damage was caused during a party held at the hotel.

King was found guilty of two charges of assault at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court this week. He denied the charges.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting, told the court that King sought out the victims in the early hours of January 26 after being told of damage to a recently refurbished area.

On locating the first victim, James Biancu, King grasped his arm and led him into the hotel’s main reception.

He proceeded to push him towards the damaged area after which Mr Biancu fell down a flight of stairs.

The court was told King then proceeded to confront the second victim, James Flatman.

He grasped Mr Flatman by his clothing and led him into the hotel’s reception.

King, of Gosbeck Road, Helmingham, told the court in evidence that the altercation had escalated in the reception and he had ‘cuffed’ Mr Flatman twice before punching him to the head.

The court heard that during a speech King had asked attendees of the party to respect the work that had been recently completed.

Mr Duah said: “It appears that Biancu and Flatman had made their way to the health club and while there they started messing around.

“As a result of their behaviour nail varnish was spread over the floor of the health club.”

King told the court his aim was to confront the victims with the damage, get them to clear up the mess and then leave the hotel.

He said: “I was upset, upset for everybody – we had all worked so hard .”

Finding him guilty of two charges of assault, District Judge Morgan Jones said: “The view I took and take is that you had lost your temper.You were very angry, understandably so, but you had lost your temper.

“It seems to me that your behaviour – it was almost frog marching somebody who misbehaved themselves – you are taking the law into your own hands and you cannot do 
that. These were your employees but that gives you no right to use physical force.”

In mitigation, Stephen Harvey QC, told the court that the events of the evening had created a situation that led King to behave in a way that was wholly uncharacteristic.

He said: “He’s a man of principle, a successful man, a hard working man who devotes his life to the business.”

King had pleaded guilty to resisting a police officer who attended the incident at an earlier hearing and was sentenced for this offence with the two assault charges.

A third assault charge against King was dismissed.

He was sentenced to a community order for one year and told to complete 40 hours of unpaid work. He will also pay costs of £1,240 and a £60 victim surcharge.