Thursday, October 25, 2012
A former Norwich nightclub owner broke a brick over a tradesman’s head in a street fight over outstanding debts for substandard work, a court heard.
Father-of-five Foud Oulare, 38, who ran the Wafou in Prince of Wales Road until it was closed down by police earlier this year, brawled with Ashley Thomas in broad daylight on Dereham Road on February 8.
As the two grappled with each other they tumbled into a front garden, dislodging coping stones which they in turn used as makeshift weapons as they continued their fight.
Oulare, of The Lathes, north Norwich, was given a 10-week sentence, suspended for 12 months, after pleading guilty to a charge of common assault at Norwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
He was also ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, pay £100 to Mr Thomas in compensation and £200 in prosecution costs.
Prosecutor Andrew Nicklin told the court that Oulare had been walking on Dereham Road when Mr Thomas stopped in his van.
Oulare approached, “swinging punches at Mr Thomas, lunging at him and performed some sort of karate kick”, said Mr Nicklin.
Their struggled toppled them backwards into a front garden.
“The defendant was on top of Mr Thomas at this point,” said Mr Nicklin. “He then picked up a coping stone that had come off the wall, and he used that to hit Mr Thomas on the forehead. He described it then as falling in two.”
The fight continued, with Oulare threatening to kill Mr Thomas, pulling him by his hair and punching him, before police arrived to break them up. The tradesman was left with a swollen eye, cut eyebrow and a lump on his head.
Robert Barley, mitigating for Oulare, said the incident was “not an unprovoked attack” given the history between the two men, which included previous run-ins.
Mr Thomas had done some work at the nightclub, which Oulare believed was of a poor standard. When the premises flooded, Oulare withheld money owed to Mr Thomas “because of issues over the quality of the work”, said Mr Barley.
He added that Oulare had probably suffered concussion himself, possibly from a similar blow to the head with a stone.
Mr Barley said the closure of his business had cost him £400,000.
The club was closed down by Norfolk Constabulary following persistent breaches of the premises licence.