Lawyer accused of racial abuse at Leeds lap dance club

Michael Peters.

Michael Peters.

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A trainee solicitor racially abused a bouncer after disputing his bill at a lap dancing club, jury heard.

Leeds Crown Court was told how Michael Peters, 27, was arrested at the Red Leopard club in Leeds city centre after a dispute with management over a 20 per cent surcharge he had to pay for a lap dance and drinks.

It is alleged Peters, a trainee with O’Garra’s solicitors, racially abused door supervisor Sully Mohammed during the dispute.

Peters, of The Ice Works, New York Street, Leeds, denies racially aggravated behaviour.

Red Leopard manager David Marriner told the jury at Leeds Crown Court how he went to speak to Peters when he disputed a bill for £42 to pay for a lap dance, a bottle of beer and two shots of Sambuca.

Mr Marriner said: “He was raising his voice very loudly in the club, close to my face.

“He kept on mentioning what he did for a living and he kept handing out cards. He said he was a solicitor in Leeds.”

Prosecuting barrister Iain Hillis asked Mr Marriner if he could remember the exact word that Peters used. He replied: “He said ‘you can’t touch me I’m a solicitor’. Stuff like that.”

He added: “I felt he could have been quite violent at the time because the guy had had a few drinks.” Mr Marriner said Peters used a racist term towards Mr Mohammed.

Mr Mohammed told the court Peters had been “hostile and aggressive” towards him before swearing and racially abusing him.

Mr Mohammed added: “He said ‘I am a solicitor and you are just a doorman.”

The court heard Peters told the men he was going to ring the police as he was being held “hostage” at the club. The jury was played a recording of a call Mr Mohammed made to police asking them to come to the premises, on the Headrow, to deal with the situation.

During cross examination, Peters’s barrister Shaun Smith suggested to both Mr Marriner and Mr Mohammed that they had made up racial allegation so they would not get into trouble for detaining him at the club.

Mr Marriner and Mr Mohammed both denied the suggestion.

Mr Smith asked Mr Mohammed: “You are lying aren’t you? You lied in your witness statement and you have lied in the witness box. Mr Mohammed replied: “No. That’s not true.”