A trainee solicitor has been cleared of racially abusing a bouncer during a dispute over his bill at a lap dancing club.
A jury took less than two hours to reach a unanimous not guilty verdict following a trial at Leeds Crown Court over the incident at the Red Leopard club..
The court heard Michael Peters was arrested at the club after a dispute with management over a 20 per cent surcharge he had to pay for a lap dance and drinks.
The prosecution alleged Mr Peters, a trainee with O’Garra’s solicitors in Leeds, racially abused door supervisor Sully Mohammed during the dispute.
Mr Peters, of the Ice works, New York Street, Leeds, denied racially aggravated behaviour.
Giving evidence during the trial, Mr Peters said Mr Mohammed and club manager David Marriner had lied in the accounts they gave to police and in court that he had made the racist remark.
Mr Peters described how he had gone to the Leeds city centre club with a friend on March 2 this year after drinking four pints of lager.
He became involved in a dispute with the manager and the doorman over a £42 bill for a lap dance, a bottle of lager and two shots of Sambuca. Mr Peters said he was unhappy about having to pay a 20 per cent surcharge for using his debit card.
The trainee lawyer denied being aggressive towards Mr Mohammed and Mr Marriner or two police officers who arrested him and led him away in handcuffs. Mr Peters also told the jury how he also made a 999 call to police as Mr Mohammed would not let him leave the club. Mr Peters told the two men he was a solicitor during the conversation.
When asked by prosecutor Iain Hillas why he had mentioned what he did for a living, he replied: “Because I was being threatened with violence by Mr Mohammed. I did not want to get in any confrontation and I thought I would say that to prevent him from threatening me and I could leave the club.
Mr Mohammed had told the jury Mr Peters had been “hostile and aggressive” towards him before swearing and racially abusing him.