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Bouncer brutality at Stirling’s nightclubs: Brig speaks to assaulted Stirling student

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Credit: Jack Haggerty

After the recent conviction of a bouncer for assaulting a Stirling student, Brig’s deputy editor Amy Beveridge investigates similar cases of brutality at Stirling’s two clubs Dusk and Fubar.

Stirling may be classed as a city, but it’s not exactly a big one. When it comes to a student night out on the town, there’s pretty much only two choices for your nightclub – Dusk off of Baker Street, or Fubar on Maxwell Place.

You can expect several things from a night at these clubs; overpriced drinks, cheesy tunes, and a Tastebudz to munch at the end of the night. What you don’t usually expect is violence from the nightclub bouncers who are paid to keep you safe.

Last month former Dusk bouncer Bruce Jamieson was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work after being convicted of assaulting University of Stirling student Iain Morrison in July 2016.

Jamieson was captured on CCTV kicking and punching his victim on the head as he lay on the ground outside the Stirling nightclub.

Morrison had been asked to leave the premises as he was intoxicated, but when he tried to re-enter to find friends the doorman launched the attack on him.

Speaking exclusively to Brig, Iain Morrison, a recent psychology graduate, said: “We went to Dusk after having some pre-drinks at a flat in town. We got in fine, had a drink at the bar and were on the dance floor for a bit.

“Then my memory gets a bit hazy, but I was asked to leave, and at some point between the dance floor and the exit [Jamieson] assaulted me.

“My next memory is sitting in the cloak room and being tended to by one of the staff members. Then we left and I was walking home, being helped by a friend, with my hands and arms covered in blood.”

Morrison only found out that he was on the floor and that he’d been kicked when he read the article about the case over a year later, as he wasn’t allowed to see the CCTV footage of the assault.

The next day he went to work, and called the manager of Dusk on his way: “He let me know that the police had been contacted, and that the bouncer had been fired and they’d submitted to have his license revoked. The police showed up a couple of hours later at work and took my statement.

As for Morrison’s injuries, “the big one was a fractured nose, which is where all the blood came from. I also had other scrapes and bruises in various places around my arms and face.”

Commenting on the sentencing, Morrison said: “I was meant to attend a court hearing on November 28, but he pled guilty before the court date.

“Other than the letters telling me about the hearing and then telling me it was cancelled, I’ve not heard anything about it since it happened.

“I think the sentencing is fair. He was doing his job by getting me out of the club to begin with.

“But obviously he took it a little too far, considering I wasn’t aggressive toward him and couldn’t defend myself very well.”

This incident is disturbing; however, it is not an isolated case. In November 2014 Dusk bouncer Michael Thom was found guilty of assaulting 20-year-old clubber Danielle Kelly and a friend in February 2014.  While waiting for another bouncer to find her lost shoe, Thom approached Kelly and asked her to put on her shoes or leave.

When she tried to explain he ejected her from the club, using her own body to push her through a fire exit. Kelly was thrown to the ground, and left with cuts and bruises.

And in November 2013 former Fubar doorman Douglas Sillars left a 23-year-old clubber with a fractured wrist after grabbing him in a hold usually used to restrain violent criminals. The incident was seen by two police officers passing in a patrol car, and Sillars was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid community service.

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The most recent TripAdvisor review for Fubar Nightclub. Credit: Amy Beveridge

This brutality from club bouncers is echoed on Fubar’s TripAdvisor page. The nightclub’s latest review, dated September 16 2017, advises others to “avoid unless you want assaulted by bouncers”, saying “if you wish to be wrongly accused of drug dealing, be pinned to the floor, have your phone smashed and have the shoulder joint twisted which has previously had extensive surgery, then off you go”. Other reviews describe bouncers as “unnecessary [sic] intimidating” and “rude and bullying”.

A review of Dusk on Yelp described bouncers there as “pompous and negligent”.

Dusk and Fubar have strong ties with the University of Stirling. The nightclubs provide a full week of events during Freshers Week each September, and they also have sponsorship deals with many of the clubs and sports teams, where members sell cheap club night wristbands to other students to earn money for their club.

Almost every Stirling student has been to one of these clubs during their time at university. But with these shocking stories of violence against young clubbers, students may rather travel elsewhere in order to have a safe night out with their friends.

When approached for comment, Dusk Nightclub said: “Dusk Nightclub has a zero tolerance policy on all forms of violence; whoever perpetrates it. In addition, we would highlight to you that the two occasions you specifically reference, it was Dusk management on the night that reported both incidents to the Police and the SIA [Security Industry Authority].”

At the time of publication Fubar Nightclub had not responded when approached for comment.

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