Last monday, 3rd November 2015, I went to the Metro Radio Arena with my two teenage daughters, to see Motley Crue and Alice Cooper play live. We had a great night and headed to the Central Station to get a taxi home. Needing to use a cash machine we walked to Grainger Street. The machine was next to a "gentleman's club" called "For your eyes only".
As I was using the cash machine I heard a commotion behind me. Turning I saw a young woman who was clearly extremely drunk, to the point she couldnt walk unaided. With her was a man who was trying to help her to walk, and her boyfriend. The woman fell at the bottom of the street and was lying on the floor. While the male friend was trying to pick her up, her boyfriend started yelling and screaming abuse at her.
When she did get up she was bleeding, couldn't stand unaided and vomited. All this time her boyfriend was shouting and swearing at her. The woman wasn't reponding to the boyfriend, but the male friend appeared to be really intimidated that this man, who was quite tall and very broad was being so verbally aggressive towards the woman.
As you can see from the above link, door staff in Newcastle have completed a "vulnerabiity training course" so that they know how to get help for anyone who needs it.
As I was unable to call the police or an ambulance I asked the door staff them to intervene. The door staff said "not our problem" and turned away. I asked them to call for an ambulance or the police. It was obvious from 20 yards away that the woman was bleeding quite heavily and her boyfriend was verbally abusing her all the while. The door staff just refused and when I mentioned the "safe haven" policy all three laughed and turned away from me.
I didn't know what to do. The woman was obviously in need of medical attention and I had no way of calling for the police or an ambulance. I had my two daughters with me, and the aggressiveness of the woman's boyfriend meant that I was scared to step in and help. As someone who has experienced violence at the hands of my ex, I froze. I was literally too scared to act. Finally after about 10 minutes I decided that it wasn't ok for my daughters to be witnessing this, and hoping to find either a telephone box to phone the emergency services, or a police officer nearby I walked down towards the Central Station all the while looking over my shoulder at the ongoing incident. As I was still watching, while this incident had been going on for around 15 minutes a young girl and her boyfriend went to aid the woman.
I felt awful as I hadn't been able to help at the time and so contacted Vera Baird as soon as I got home to report what I had witnessed. I tweeted "For your eyes only" that night but got no response.
I received a reply back from Vera Baird, who had sent a superintendent to speak to the owner of the club. The owner had said that the door staff told him that there were two girls helping the young woman and they didn't want to step in because they felt it would escalate matters.
This is simply not true. For around 15 minutes there was no-one able to help out. I've emailed Vera Baird again to inform her that this account is simply not true. The truth of the matter is that three large men, with SIA training and who should have completed the "vulnerability training course" stood, watched and laughed at a vulnerable woman, who couldn't stand unaided, had vomited and was bleeding being screamed at, shouted at and sworn at by her boyfriend.
I decided to tweet the owner of "For your eyes only" again last night. I was furious that the bouncers had not only not implemented their "vulnerability training", and had refused to phone for the emergency services, but they had also lied about the situation. These are my tweets.