Leeds pub attack DJ speaks of ordeal EXCLUSIVE

Richard Sykes after the attack.
Richard Sykes after the attack.
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A disc jockey glassed in the face after changing the lyrics of an Elvis song at a pub karaoke told today of how he is now scarred for life.

Richard Sykes was singing a comedy version of I Just Can’t Help Believing at the Jug and Barrel in Stanningley when violence flared.

On hearing the bawdy lyrics, pub customer David Watson started heckling Mr Sykes and his singing partner.

Watson then tried to grab Mr Sykes’ microphone leads before smashing a pint glass in his face.

Father-of-two Mr Sykes, 36, of Bramley, spent three days at Leeds General Infirmary and had 42 stitches in four wounds.

A Leeds Crown Court judge last week handed Watson, 43, of Harley Drive, Bramley, an 11-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months, plus 180 hours unpaid work.

The court heard Watson was angry after claiming Mr Sykes’ singing partner had changed the words of the song to reveal information about Watson, which he believed only a handful of people knew.

Mr Sykes told the YEP: “I had never met him (Watson) before in my life, neither had the friend I was singing with.

“He said the reason it happened is because we released some sensitive information about him that only three people in the world knew.

“But we didn’t know the guy, so how could we release the information?”

Mr Sykes added: “I do a comedy Elvis show and it was just a song I sing from time to time on karaoke.”

Mr Sykes said he has only done around four mobile DJ gigs since the attack last May, adding: “I just can’t face standing up there alone in front of strange crowds. I feel scared and I just can’t be my normal self.”

And he his still struggling to understand what caused Watson to attack him.

“I have spent 18 months trying to work out why it happened and what caused it. Was it something we did? Was it something we said?”

Watson’s lawyer Sean Smith, told Leeds Crown Court last week that the singer was “making up his own words in a derogatory nature against the defendant.”

Mr Smith said Watson believed only three people knew the information the singer was broadcasting.

He added: “He was surprised to know how the individual with the microphone got hold of that information.”

Watson, who had admitted wounding, was ordered to pay £196 compensation to Mr Sykes and £1,200 towards prosecution costs.


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