A GYM owner who assaulted a Whitehaven doorman after being ejected from a pub said he had ‘spiralled out of control with drink’.

Ian Chambers, 54, initially denied a charge of assault by beating but changed his plea to guilty after being shown CCTV footage of the incident.

Pamela Fee, prosecuting at Workington Magistrates’ Court, read a statement from the victim, who had been on duty as a doorman on June 3. He said staff could see Chambers asleep on a bench due to intoxication.

Another doorman had approached Chambers with the intention to eject him. The victim said Chambers had punched him to the face while he was being ejected from the pub.

Chambers was taken outside and again attempted to punch the victim to the face. Force was then used to take him to the floor.

The victim said he feared Chambers due to his size and reputation in Whitehaven. He said he’d had trouble with Chambers in the past from working on the doors and there had been altercations with him previously.

The victim phoned 999 and police arrived on the scene. A statement from one of the police officers who attended said the victim was ‘very distressed’ and was holding Chambers on the floor.

During police interview, Chambers denied assault. He said he had been at a 40th birthday party and was intoxicated.

He said he had fallen asleep and the doorman had stamped on his head and caused his teeth to be loose.

Chambers was shown the CCTV footage and said it wasn’t an assault, it was ‘an altercation’. When asked what was happening in the footage, he said he ‘didn’t have a clue’.

He then said, “If I’d punched him, it doesn’t matter how drunk I had been, he would have gone down anyway.”

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Chambers, who was not legally represented, said he was in West Cumberland Hospital for five hours following the incident.

He said: “I had a couple of bad years. My business was closed down in Covid. I split up with my wife. I found my sister dead.

“I hadn’t had a drink in nine months. I spiralled out of control with drink. It was totally out of character.

“My ex-partner has tried to destroy my business on social media. I’m hanging on by a thread.”

Chambers, of Springfield Grove, Whitehaven, was fined £268. He was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £107 victim surcharge.