Former Fairford mayor denies pub assault charge

The former mayor of Fairford has denied assaulting a man at a pub in the town.

At Cheltenham Magistrates Court today (May 10) prosecutor Graham Dono said that James Nicholls, 47, of Yells Way is alleged to have hit a man at the Marlborough Arms during the evening of April 8.

Mr Dono said the Crown case is the victim was seated at the bar with his partner at around 10pm when Mr Nicholls arrived. After a heated discussion between the two men Mr Nicholls allegedly threw a punch with a clenched fist.

Mr Nicholls was then pinned to the floor by those socialising in the pub, before the police were called and he was arrested.

The court was told the victim sustained a cut above the eye, but he did not require medical treatment.

Tim Burrows, defending, said Mr Nicholls is claiming lawful self defence.

Mr Nicholls grew up in Fairford and served with the army for 20 years. He moved back to the town in 2018 and became deputy mayor in 2019.

He was elected mayor in May 2020 and he was unanimously re-elected for a second term in 2021. He resigned following the allegation being made against him in April.

READ MORE: Fairford mayor resigns after pub assault charge

Mr Nicholls pleaded not guilty to assault by beating and the case was adjourned until his trial at Cirencester Courthouse on July 5.

District Judge Nicholas Wattam released Mr Nicholls on conditional bail.

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