Eyeballs ruptured in 'ferocious Hells Angels attack'

The Carlisle pub, Hastings
Image caption Christopher Harrison was assaulted outside The Carlisle pub on Hastings seafront two years ago

Two Hells Angels bikers launched an attack on a man that was so "ferocious" his eyeballs ruptured, a court heard.

Matthew Barnes, 48, of Victoria Avenue, Hastings, and Oliver Wilkinson, 50, of Duke Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, deny grievous bodily harm with intent.

The Old Bailey was told that Christopher Harrison was injured in the attack outside The Carlisle pub on Hastings seafront in February 2016.

He was targeted because he did not want to join the bikers' club, jurors heard.

Opening the case, prosecutor Nicholas Cooper said Mr Barnes was the president of the Sussex Hells Angels motorcycle club and Mr Wilkinson was part of the club's "support crew".

They had gathered at The Carlisle pub with other members and associates, where a band was playing.

Mr Harrison was also present and, although a biker, was not a member of the Hells Angels, the court was told.

The jury heard that at about midnight on 20 February, Mr Harrison was invited outside by Mr Wilkinson and was asked if he was interested in becoming a member of the Hells Angels.

Mr Harrison said: "I don't want to know, I'm too old, I really don't want to know."

Punches 'raining in'

The prosecution said Mr Wilkinson then went away and returned with Mr Barnes, who said: "Why wouldn't you want to wear these colours?"

The jury was told Mr Harrison replied: "But it's neutral territory, we get all sorts of colours through here and I'm just not interested.

"We get, you know, blue and white from along the road, this black and white, they come in here, things like that."

Mr Barnes is then alleged to have said: "I hate black and white, all black and whites should die," before head-butting Mr Harrison so hard that his head hit the wall behind.

Mr Cooper said punches then "started raining in", and "they knocked [Mr Harrison's] legs from behind the knees so he fell to the ground".

The court heard Mr Harrison knew Mr Barnes was standing in front of him and had attacked him first with the head-butt.

"Mr Harrison knew that Oliver Wilkinson was stood to his left, and that no-one else was stood there and that ferocious punch... came from that direction," Mr Cooper said.

The trial continues.

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