[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 20:59 GMT 21:59 UK
Assault hearing for Bunnymen star
Glasgow Barrowland
Glasgow Barrowland hosted Echo and the Bunnymen in October
The lead singer of 1980s band Echo And The Bunnymen assaulted two fans during a backstage dispute after a concert, a court has heard.

Ian McCulloch, 46, is charged with attacking Gary Duncan and his girlfriend, Juliet Sebley, following a performance at Glasgow Barrowlands.

The Liverpool musician denies two charges of assault on 23 October, 2005.

Justice of the Peace Robert Hamilton heard evidence from Mr Duncan at Glasgow District Court on Wednesday.

Mr Duncan, 39, a mental health support worker from Glasgow, told the court the singer repeatedly pushed him.

He explained that he had gone to the concert with a group of friends, including Ms Sebley.

He [McCulloch] was threatening to kick the doors in of the toilets if we didn't get out
Gary Duncan

He said he had had no more than three drinks and was getting ready to leave when he was told it might be possible to go backstage.

Mr Duncan added: "Juliet said that she could use the toilet, at which point I asked if there was a toilet we could use."

He said they made their way across the main backstage area and came to a smaller room, where he saw Mr McCulloch standing in a doorway.

He said he politely asked to get past, saying: "Excuse me, we're just going to use the toilet."

The witness said he and his girlfriend had gone into separate cubicles and were only there a few minutes when they heard "fierce roaring and threatening language" from outside.

Mr Duncan said of Mr McCulloch: "He was threatening to kick the doors in of the toilets if we didn't get out."

Head was bleeding

After leaving the cubicle, Mr Duncan said the singer began leaning into him, grabbed his jacket lapels and "pushed and pulled him in a threatening manner".

He said the altercation went on for some time until a member of Mr McCulloch's entourage intervened.

Upon inquiring where his girlfriend was, Mr Duncan said he was told by the member of the entourage: "Don't worry, she'll be all right with Mac."

He said he took this comment to refer to Mr McCulloch and said he was in a state of "disbelief" when he saw his girlfriend running past him.

"She was in a state of stress and in fear and was clutching her head at her right temple," he said.

He said he spoke to his girlfriend, who was "hysterical" by this point, and when he realised her head was bleeding they decided to call the police.

Mr Duncan rejected a suggestion from defence agent Murray Macara that Mr McCulloch had just put his hand on his back and escorted him from the more private area of the dressing room.

Vulnerable situation

Ms Selby also gave evidence on Wednesday. She told the court that she heard an altercation between her boyfriend and another man when she was in a cubicle and took the other voice to be that of Mr McCulloch, although she did not see him and could not specifically recall what was said.

She said that person then returned and became abusive, shouting through the cubicle door.

She said: "I said 'Please just give me a moment', because I was in a vulnerable situation and hadn't finished. I just remember the door hitting in the side of my head because when it came in I was still sitting on the toilet."

When cross-examined, Ms Selbey denied she and her boyfriend had been in the same cubicle and also rejected the suggestion that the door had swung open and hit her in the head because it had been unlocked.

The case was adjourned to 18 September when a police interview with Mr McCulloch will be heard in court.

Bunnymen star faces assault trial
16 Aug 06 |  Glasgow and West
Bunnymen star denies gig assaults
04 Apr 06 |  Scotland

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific