A DOORMAN is on trial denying manslaughter after a clubgoer he allegedly ejected in “an inappropriate headlock” died from a skull fracture.

Ciaran Spencer, 25, is accused of using “unlawful actions” to push James Etherington out of the Bijou Nightclub in Chapel Lane, Bingley, in the early hours of November 25, 2017.

Mr Etherington, 24, died in hospital from a traumatic brain injury ten days later, the jury at Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutor David Brooke QC said that Mr Etherington and his friend Ben Rose took a taxi from Leeds to the club, arriving at 2.30am.

An hour later, Mr Etherington was fatally injured after he was ejected from the club and fell backwards striking his head hard on the pavement.

Mr Brooke said the prosecution did not suggest that Spencer, of Green Head Drive, Utley, Keighley, intended to kill or seriously injure Mr Etherington.

But his “unlawful actions that night” amounted to his manslaughter.

The jury watched CCTV footage of the incident from both the inside and outside of the club.

Spencer told the police afterwards that Mr Etherington was aggressive and would not pay for his drinks.

He said he got him “in a bit of a headlock” and then let him go.

Spencer sent a text message saying: “I’ve just choked someone out,” the jury heard.

In another message, to a different phone, he said: “He’s still on the floor.”

Mr Brooke said Spencer, who was 23 at the time, was one of three door staff on duty at the club that night.

Mr Etherington had drunk a lot when he arrived at the club, being described as tipsy, merry or drunk.

When Charlotte Waddington, who was working on the bar, went round with a tray of shots at £2 each, Mr Etherington drank two but did not pay for them.

Miss Waddington told the manager and he said to get the bouncers to deal with it.

Spencer and the two other doormen approached Mr Etherington.

The jury heard there was “a commotion” and Mr Etherington took off his jacket.

Each bouncer had some physical contact with him, but Spencer was the principal person who removed him from the club, Mr Brooke said.

He told the jury that Spencer was doing his job ejecting Mr Etherington from the club because he was “behaving inappropriately.”

But the prosecution alleged that he did not use reasonable and proportionate force.

Spencer was a licensed frontline door supervisor, a professional paid to do a job, Mr Brooke said.

He told the jury the training manual said: “Leave the neck alone.”

Spencer had been working at the Bijou Nightclub for a few weeks and was described by the manager as “probably the best doorman they had.”

Mr Brooke said that CCTV of him propelling Mr Etherington backwards out of the club showed that he was using a headlock.

Mr Etherington could have been rendered unconscious very quickly by such pressure on his neck.

Outside the club, he fell backwards and his head hit the pavement “with great force.”

Mr Brooke said that Mr Etherington wasn’t struggling when he fell and made no attempt to break his fall.

Spencer suggested to the police that Mr Etherington might have tripped over a barrier.

He told officers: “He just fell. He was being arrogant.”

He said he had hold of Mr Etherington’s chin when he was ejecting him from the club.

But Mr Brooke again alleged that Spencer went beyond reasonable force.

“The defendant knew perfectly well that ‘choking him out’ would be wrong,” said Mr Brooke.

“When he let go, he was helpless and couldn’t stop his head hitting the ground,” he said.

The trial continues.