Pub manager held in headlock after refusing to serve drunk man

The Artichoke in Norwich, whose landlord was attacked by Francis Walker

The Artichoke in Norwich, whose landlord was attacked by Francis Walker Photo: Jess Coppins - Credit: Jess Coppins

A drunken man held the manager of the Artichoke pub in Norwich in a chokehold after being refused a drink.

Francis Walker grabbed the pub manager around the neck, leaving him struggling to breathe after he was asked to leave the pub on Magdalen Road, Norwich Crown Court heard.

The Artichoke in Norwich, whose landlord was attacked by Francis Walker

The Artichoke in Norwich, whose landlord was attacked by Francis Walker. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

Benedict Peers, prosecuting, said Walker, 29, demanded a drink just after closing time.

He said the manager asked Walker to leave,  but he became irate and aggressive and put his face close up to the victim asking if he wanted a "smack".

Mr Peers said suddenly Walker grabbed the pub manager in a chokehold, saying: "He squeezed his neck so he was struggling to breathe."

He said the manager pushed him away and police were called.

Mr Peers said Walker at first was compliant but became aggressive, assaulting an officer by kicking him in the leg and chest.

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He said Walker later claimed to have no recollection of the incident as alcohol and his medication did not mix.

Walker, of William Kett Close, Norwich, admitted assaulting the pub manager and an emergency worker on June 17 this year.

He also admitted assaulting three other police officers on May 14, when he was found unconscious at an address in Cotman Fields, Norwich.

Mr Peers said he kicked one officer in the hand and threatened to smash in the face of a female officer. He also made threats to another officer and had to be restrained in an ambulance.

Walker also admitted being in breach of a restraining order.

The court heard he had more than 50 previous offences.

Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Andrew Shaw said Walker was a  "high risk" offender.

"You got stupidly drunk and took the manager in a chokehold and strangled him so he could barely breathe."

He told Walker: "You have been given chance after chance to mend your ways and nothing seems to have worked."

Andrew Oliver, mitigating, said Walker started drinking following the death of his mother.

He added: "If he continues to drink to the extent he had been doing he is going to put his health at serious risk."

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