Flint publican jailed for attacking man in pub toilets

Published date: 10 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A TOWN’S former Pubwatch chairman and the longest serving licensee in Flintshire has been jailed for three years.

In what was described as a fall from grace, grandmother Linda Lee, 50, was jailed for inflicting violence – along with her boyfriend Sean Limbert, 46, who received three and a half years – on a man in a pub’s gent’s toilets .

Mold Crown Court heard how Lee had been a licensee in Manchester for 12 years and a licensee in Flint for 18 years.

A reference on her behalf was written by a mayor of Flint and she was said to have worked hard to raise the profile of Flint during the London Olympics last year.

She had been chairman of Pubwatch in Flint and had a personal licence to run a club.

Lee also had a licence to run door security and as such was trained to defuse violent situations.

But Lee, who at the time of the attack in March last year was licensee of the Flint sports and social club, was told yesterday she was not fit to hold a licence.

Judge Philip Hughes said it was particularly disgraceful she had conducted herself in such a way.

The jury heard claims there had been difficulties between Lee and complainant Derek Burns after she agreed to make a witness statement in respect of his former wife Wendy Burns, currently serving a six-year prison sentence for stabbing him.

Lee told the jury he had subjected her to abuse and called her disgraceful names in the street, in front of her grandchildren – a claim Mr Burns denied.

Sean Limbert and Linda Lee both denied wounding Mr Burns at The Royal Oak pub in Flint.

Limbert, of Raven Court, Flint, claimed he was not involved in the violence that evening.

Lee, of Elwy Crescent, Flint, claimed she acted in self-defence when Mr Burns swung a kick at her groin – a claim he denied.

It was the prosecution case Lee and Limbert had assaulted Mr Burns by repeatedly punching him.

The court heard that Limbert went on to kick him hard to the face.

Mr Burns was left with unpleasant injuries which required hospital treatment. He had swelling and bruising to his left eye, and a laceration to the bridge of the nose which required stitches.

Sentencing them yesterday Judge Hughes said it was a two against one attack behind the closed doors of a toilet where there were no witnesses.

“It is the kind of sustained, prolonged violence on licensed premises in drink that is far too common.

“It cannot be tolerated,” he said.

In the weeks before the incident Lee had alleged she had been subjected to abuse by Mr Burns, both face-to-face and on social networking site Facebook.

In the toilet that night Limbert had threatened him in a “frightening display of violence” by punching a wooden panel close to his head.

He told Mr Burns that would happen to him if he continued to abuse his girlfriend.

Lee then punched him and he fell to the floor where she continued to punch him.

As he got up Limbert punched him full in the face and then kicked him in the face while he was on the ground.

In a victim impact statement Mr Burns said he was now scared of going out and had lost confidence.

Oliver King, for Lee, said there were glowing references, including one from a mayor of Flint, which spoke highly of her.

She had led a positive life and had done much for the community in Flint.

“For her, this is nothing short of devastating,” he said.

His client had lost her livelihood.

Her personal pub licence had been suspended in March and she would lose her security licence to work “on the doors”.

He suggested a suspended prison sentence and said his client would have to start again and re-build her damaged reputation.

“It is a fall from grace. She has led a very positive life,” he said.

He disputed aspects of the victim impact statement and said the complainant had been out celebrating and had been sending his client Facebook messages including one which read “have yourself a merry Christmas, I certainly will.”

John Hedgecoe, for Limbert, said his client had convictions but had been out of trouble for many years.

He now accepted he was involved and had punched the complainant. But he disputed he had delivered a kick.

If he lost his liberty then he would lose his job and the accommodation that he had for the last six years.

Both said the considerable delay in bringing the case to conclusion had placed additional stress on the defendants.

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