Sussex

Sussex Hells Angel accused calls mob claim 'absurd'

Matthew Barnes (left) and Oliver Wilkinson (right) outside Lewes Crown Court
Image caption Matthew Barnes and Oliver Wilkinson both deny grievous bodily harm with intent

A Hell's Angels leader accused of attacking a biker outside a pub told a court he "wasn't put on this planet to scare people".

Prosecutor Nicolas Cooper told the Old Bailey Matthew Barnes, 48, had led a "mob" to confront Christopher Harrison.

But Mr Barnes denied intimidating anyone and said Mr Cooper's suggestion was "absurd".

Mr Barnes, from Hastings, and Oliver Wilkinson, of St Leonards, deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

They are both accused of attacking Mr Harrison outside The Carlisle pub in Hastings in February 2016, causing him serious eye injuries.

Mr Harrison has alleged former Sussex chapter president Mr Barnes head-butted him and Mr Wilkinson, 50, of Duke Road, St Leonards, punched him.

Image caption Christopher Harrison was attacked outside The Carlisle pub in Hastings two years ago

Mr Wilkinson's barrister, Andrew Selby, told the court Mr Barnes had spent the evening drinking with members of the Hells Angels support crew, including Mr Wilkinson, and a "prospect" - someone being lined up to join the club.

Mr Selby suggested his client was not involved in the violence.

He said to Mr Barnes: "When you head-butted [Mr Harrison], kneed him and punched him, your prospect did the same and that's what you would expect a prospect to do - support the president."

Mr Barnes, of Victoria Avenue, Hastings, replied: "That's ridiculous," adding: "I wasn't there so I don't know what you're talking about."

Cross-examined by Mr Cooper, Mr Barnes said there was "no evidence" to suggest he had been leading a mob, who "dare not make a move without your say so".

He described the questioning as "absurd" and said: "I wasn't there... I wasn't put on this planet to scare people."

Mr Barnes also accused Mr Cooper of "trying to demonise us".

The trial continues.

Image caption The court heard Mr Harrison's sight was badly affected in the attack

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