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Former wrestler Zak Bevis denies threatening to kill Wetherspoon staff

PUBLISHED: 14:44 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:25 12 December 2018

The Queen of Iceni pub. Photo: Steve Adams

The Queen of Iceni pub. Photo: Steve Adams

A former wrestler who was refused entry to a Norwich pub after jumping into a river has denied threatening staff, saying he never said the words “do him in” or “snap his neck”, a court has heard.

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley.Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Zak Bevis, 27, and William Stonehouse, 63, had been drinking with a group of friends at the Queen of Iceni pub on Norwich’s Riverside complex.

Norwich Magistrates Court was told Bevis had jumped into the river but was then barred from re-entering the pub.

It is alleged that Bevis had made various threats to staff who were preventing him from getting back into the pub, telling one staff member “I will do you” and another that he would “snap your neck”.

Giving evidence today Bevis, who the court heard had competed as a wrestler under the name Zak Zodiac, told Jacqui Appleton, defending, that “there was no threats made”.

Bevis, who has no previous convictions, told the court that earlier in the day he and others had attended the funeral of his godfather, his dad’s best friend, before being at a wake at the Farmhouse pub.

He said they then went to the Queen of Iceni pub later in the day to celebrate the 18th birthday of a family member.

Bevis admitted that he and his nephew “jumped in the river”.

He said they were warned by a security guard about the dangers but went in anyway.

Bevis said: “It may have been a silly thing to do but I believed I wasn’t breaking any laws.”

After trying to get back in the pub Bevis said staff “came across aggressive”.

He said he told the worker “why are you being so aggressive?”

Bevis admitted putting his head close to the worker but insisted there were “no threats to him”.

He denied threatening to “do him in” or telling another worker that he threatened to kill him or “snap his neck”.

He did admit swearing at another worker and telling him to “get out of my face” but denied threatening to break his nose.

Bevis said he was “surprised” by the amount of police that turned up.

When cross examined by Alan Wheetman, prosecuting, it was put to him that he was “resorting to form” as a wrestler by putting his head close up to the worker to intimidate him so that he “would give into your will”.

Bevis, who said he had retired from wrestling, said “no sir”.

The court had heard that after police were called Stonehouse “tried to prevent” his friend from being arrested by grabbing hold of an officer before being taken to the ground.

It is alleged one of the officers was bitten on the finger by Stonehouse who was sprayed with Pava spray but bit another officer.

He is also said to have knocked the sunglasses off an officer and “poked him in the eye” during the incident which happened shortly after 3pm on August 2 this year.

But giving evidence in court today Stonehouse told Miss Appleton there had been “no threats of violence from Bevis “towards anyone at anytime”.

He said he had gone to see what happened to Bevis as he was “surprised and shocked” he had been arrested.

He said: “I had just gone over there to see if Zak was alright.”

Stonehouse said he thought one of the officers said something but he did not quite hear and “all of a sudden I felt a blow to my chest”.

The defendant said he was “taken to the ground for some unknown reason”.

He admitted he “was struggling no doubt” but denied assaulting any officers or biting them.

He said: “I had so many people on me. It happened so quickly. I didn’t know what was going on and I just wanted to get back up again to feel safe.”

Bevis, of Gould Road, Eaton, has denied three offences of using threatening behaviour with intent to cause fear or provoke unlawful violence.

Stonehouse, of Hungate Street, Aylsham, has denied assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty on the same date.

He also denies using threatening words and behaviour with intent to cause fear or provoke unlawful violence.

Stonehouse has however admitted obstructing/resisting a constable in the execution of duty.

The trial continues.

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