A City lawyer fractured a ‘tipsy’ investment banker’s jaw with a single bunch after he allegedly shouted gay slurs at him in an exclusive London nightclub, a court heard.
Barnaby Gush, 30, claims Jonathan Luke – who needed two metal plates to repair his jaw – shouted the gay slur: ‘F*** off you little p***,’ due to his flamboyant dancing at the members-only basement Vault bar.
Mr Luke, 32, denies he was drunk and aggressive during his company’s end-of-summer night out, insisting he was nothing more than ‘reasonably tipsy’.
Gush, a property solicitor, has pleaded not guilty to one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm on September 24, 2021.
But he admits striking out in self-defence, claiming Mr Luke twice bumped into him on the dance floor before moving aggressively towards him as the pair ‘squared up’ in the early hours.
Barnaby Gush, 30, (pictured) claims Jonathan Luke – who needed two metal plates to repair his jaw – shouted the gay slur: ‘F*** off you little p***,’ due to his flamboyant dancing at the members-only basement Vault bar
Mr Luke, 32, (pictured) denies he was drunk and aggressive during his company’s end-of-summer night out, insisting he was nothing more than ‘reasonably tipsy’
Mr Luke told Inner London Crown Court his evening began at The Happenstance, near St. Paul’s Cathedral, where there was a ‘drinking event’ with a ‘free bar’.
After ‘two or three’ beers, ‘one or two’ glasses of wine, plus a shot his group continued drinking cocktails at the Ned, a popular nightspot located near the Bank of England.
‘I was with colleagues and having a nice time and I remember feeling this punch at the bottom of my jaw from the right. It felt like a big, sudden impact, a shock,’ he told the court.
‘I was not braced for any impact and it was very sore. I felt a bit of a hole in my mouth and it was where the jaw had displaced.
‘I hoped I could sleep it off, but the police called in the morning and suggested I should go to A&E.
‘I could not swallow and two metal plates were put in to crack the lower jaw back into place.’
However, Gush’s lawyer Aisling Byrnes suggested: ‘You were very drunk that evening. Do you recall wandering around the dance floor going from group to group?’
Gush, a property solicitor, has pleaded not guilty to one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm on September 24, 2021. Pictured: Inner London Crown Court
Mr Luke denied this, but the lawyer added: ‘You were making a little bit of a nuisance of yourself on the dance floor. You made physical contact with Mr Gush while he was dancing and it is no dispute he hit you.
‘He and his friend moved away and you backed into him harder than before while he was dancing.’
Mr Luke denied Gush’s account of events, insisting: ‘I didn’t really bump into anyone.’ He also denied shouting the foul-mouthed gay slur.
‘Had you seen him dancing flamboyantly with his friends?’ asked the lawyer.
Gush, of Islington, says he told Mr Luke: ‘Why do you keep bumping into me? Leave me alone.’
The court heard there was talk of ‘let’s go outside,’ with Gush recalling telling the taller Mr Luke: ‘I’d rather you f*** off.’
The banker denied moving towards the defendant with his right arm and shoulder at Gush’s ‘neck and chest height’ moments before the blow.
Security staff intervened and called the police as Mr Luke, who had blood on his chin and shirt, was being attended to.
Gush admits striking out in self-defence, claiming Mr Luke (pictured) twice bumped into him on the dance floor before moving aggressively towards him as the pair ‘squared up’ in the early hours
Prosecutor Lewis MacDonald told the jury that Gush replied ‘no comment’ when interviewed by police.
‘He now suggests he was acting in self-defence because he felt threatened by Mr Luke, but the complainant did not commit any act of violence and we say nothing justified the defendant punching him in the face with such force.
‘Witnesses describe them on the dance floor squaring-up and Mr Gush punching Mr Luke in the face and is heard shouting: ‘Let’s take this outside,’ or: ‘Let’s have a fight.’
‘Security staff at The Ned immediately intervened and separated the men and called the police, waiting with Mr Gush until he was arrested.
The trial continues.