Tourist fleeced at 'Gentlemen's club' stole bourbon, attacked police

Unhappy customer threatened and slightly injured a police officer after stealing whiskey to make up for cash he gave to exotic dancer

Exotic dancer (File photo)
Exotic dancer (File photo)

A tourist who scuffled with security at a Paceville strip club after complaining that he had been swindled received a suspended sentence and a fine after pleading guilty to related charges.

Inspector Keith Xerri arraigned Ben Mawdsley, a 35-year-old Englishman from Leeds, before magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech on Monday, accusing him of attempting to steal two bottles of Bourbon from the White Palace Gentlemen’s Club in Paceville, threatening and slightly injuring a police officer, disobeying his legitimate orders and breaching the peace.

But even as he stood in the dock, Mawdsley’s swollen right eye indicated that there is more to this story than what emerged from the charges.

His legal aid lawyer Leontine Calleja informed the court that the man was pleading guilty to the charges, prompting the magistrate to remind him that could be sent to prison.

At that point, Mawdsley asked the court what the charges were.

After informing the man what he was accused of, the court suspended the sitting briefly to allow him time to consult with his counsel, again.

When the case was recalled, the defendant reiterated his guilty plea.

Inspector Xerri told the court that Mawdsley had been drunk at the gentleman’s club and was “not satisfied with the service.” Feeling that he was being fleeced by the hostesses, the man had complained to the management, who were not sympathetic, the court was told, so he took two bottles of Jack Daniels and tried to leave the premises.

The man was stopped by bouncers, who called the police. A struggle ensued in which Mawdsley bit a policeman’s ear.

“He was on an evening out,” Calleja explained. “He was defrauded at a gentlemen’s club, as often happens. They pay the dancers €50 at first and then end up paying more and more, sometimes up to €200.”

Moreover, the new blue and black police uniforms looked similar to that worn by the bouncers, she said. “He was assaulted first by the bouncers and was lashing out when the policeman was hit.”

“In Britain the bouncers wear black with blue and when you’re drunk you don’t know [whether they are police officers or bouncers],” the defendant interjected. “Six or seven people jumping on you. It’s chaos.”

Handing down sentence when the case was recalled later this afternoon, the court sentenced the man to imprisonment for 14 months, suspended for three years together with an €800 fine.