An angry man who was asked to leave a Wrexham pub told a doorman he had AIDS after spitting in his face.

Lee Hargreaves, 33, of Bodlyn, Acrefair, assaulted Stephen Lewis on May 8 at Town Hill, Wrexham, close to where Mr Lewis worked at the Penny Black pub.

The bar manager approached Mr Lewis that evening and told him he had seen Hargreaves in a booth at the Penny Black, despite him being barred from the premises.

After being given “a few chances to leave”, security escorted Hargreaves to the pub entrance and asked him to leave but Hargreaves threatened the doormen and said: “I’m going to kill your kids.”.

On leaving the bar Hargreaves spat in Mr Lewis’ face and mouth. When Mr Lewis told him to leave the area, Hargreaves said “I’ve got AIDS” which James Neary, prosecuting at Wrexham Magistrates Court, said made
Mr Lewis angry.

Hargreaves then proceeded to ask Mr Lewis: “How is it going to feel telling your kids you have AIDS?”

One of Mr Lewis’ colleagues called the police as they “just wanted him to be removed” but
Mr Lewis wanted to make a complaint as he was angry at the abuse he had received from Hargreaves.

District judge Gwyn Jones said: “Not only is it disgusting but there is also the added feature of saying ‘I have AIDS’.

“That must caused emotional, psychological trauma.”

Mr Neary confirmed Mr Lewis had to be tested for the HIV virus and other infectious diseases after the incident and told the court Mr Lewis was “very upset” about having to go through this ordeal.

Stephen Edwards, defending, said Hargreaves did not know he was barred and “he did not believe he had spat at the bouncer, but accepts he retaliated as a result of actions towards him”.

Mr Edwards said: “He had been in the pub for some hours before staff spotted him.

“He felt he had been manhandled out of the premises but he accepts he should have walked away when asked to do so.”

Hargreaves was found guilty of common assault on Town Hill, Wrexham, after a trial.

Mr Jones, addressing Hargreaves, said: “The staff were doing their job. They were asking you to leave and you could have left without any difficulties.

“However, it is clear to me you were unhappy that you were being asked to leave and vented your anger against that member of staff.

“You no doubt told him in no uncertain terms that you did not deserve to be asked to leave.

“However, as you were asked to leave you deliberately spat with a view to hitting Mr Lewis.

“You indicated you suffered with HIV.

“Spitting is just as unpleasant as punching but it is quite clear you wanted to make him [Mr Lewis] feel worse by making him believe he may have contacted some infectious disease.”

Hargreaves was given a 90-day prison sentence suspended for nine months and made the subject of a community order lasting 14 weeks.

He was also told he would be banned from all licensed premises in the Wrexham county borough and was ordered to pay £620 compensation to the victim.

Probation officer Pamela Roberts told the court Hargreaves had been previously diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and had learning difficulties along with some “anger issues” and “difficulties with mental health”.