Leeds lawyer accused of racial abuse tells jury it was ‘lies’

IN COURT: Michael Peters.
IN COURT: Michael Peters.
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A trainee solicitor accused of racially abusing a bouncer at a lap dancing club told a jury his alleged victim was lying.

Michael Peters, 27, is on trial at Leeds Crown Court where he denies racially aggravated behaviour towards door supervisor Sully Mohammed at the Red Leopard club in Leeds city centre.

Peters also told the court the club’s manager, David Marriner, was lying about the incident.

Giving evidence, Peters, of New York Street, Leeds, said he had drank four pints of lager before going to the club on March 2 this year with his friend.

He became involved in a dispute with the manager and the doorman over a £42 bill he paid for a lap dance, a bottle of lager and two shots of Sambuca. Peters said he was unhappy about having to pay a 20 per cent surcharge for using his debit card to pay.

His barrister, Shaun Smith QC, asked: “It is said that you used racist words towards him in that part of the conversation. Did you?” He replied: “No I did not.”

Peters, a trainee with O’Garra’s solicitors, denied being aggressive towards Mr Mohammed and Mr Marriner or two police officers who arrested him. Peters told the jury how he also made a 999 call to police as Mr Mohammed would not let him leave the club.

During cross examination, prosecutor Iain Hillis asked Peters: “Is it your case that Mr Mohammed has told lies?” Peter’s replied: “yes”. Mr Hillas added: “Is it your case that Mr Marriner has told lies.” He replied: “Yes”.

The court has heard Peters told the two men he was a solicitor during the conversation. Mr Hillas asked: “Why did you feel it necessary to mention that you worked for one of the major firms in Leeds, as I understand it, O’Garra’s.

Peters said: “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.”

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