Alleged attacker is granted bail

A GUNNEDAH man has been granted conditional bail after allegedly attacking a hotel publican.

Police allege James Robert Conlan, 23, along with a co-accused, attacked a Conadilly St hotel licensee after they were asked to leave the hotel about midnight on November 2 last year.

He is the second man charged over the alleged assault, with Garry Briggs, 25, also facing seven charges stemming from the incident.

It’s believed four men were playing pool in the pub when they were asked to leave as the venue was about to shut its doors.

CCTV shows some of the men allegedly smashing schooner glasses and an ashtray before some of the pool balls were stolen as they left the venue.

The licensee spoke to one of the men in the beer garden before he went to investigate after someone started banging on a steel gate.

It was here a brief verbal argument spiralled into a physical confrontation. Police will allege the publican was punched in the jaw and knocked to the ground.

He was then allegedly bashed while on the ground; an employee who tried to intervene was also allegedly assaulted.

The licensee tried to get off the ground and go back inside but was allegedly “coward-punched” and kicked in the face.

One of the alleged offenders also chased the employee inside the pub before a patron intervened.

The offenders fled the scene and police were called to investigate.

The licensee sustained lacerations to his face, a burst eardrum and bruising.

Investigators pursued Conlan after the incident before officers managed to track him down after a vehicle stop on Sunday night.

Highway patrol police stopped the vehicle on Wandobah Rd near Gunnedah before officers discovered the 23-year-old was wanted by police.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company of others and one count of affray.

He fronted Tamworth Local Court and was granted bail to appear in Gunnedah Local Court in February.

Co-accused Briggs, who police will allege delivered the first blow, was arrested earlier and is facing charges of malicious damage, assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company, affray, larceny, breach of bail and two counts of common assault.

He remains in custody and is due to reappear in the Gunnedah court next month.

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