A DOORMAN punched a drunken Christmas reveller whose over-zealous dancing was causing concern, a court heard.

But the forceful expulsion of the inebriated customer resulted in Stephen Storey losing his job and his doorman’s licence, as well as landing him in court for the first time in several years.

Durham Crown Court was told Storey was one of three door staff working at the Old English Gentleman, in Darlington town centre, on the night of Saturday December 17, 2016.

Lisa McCormick, prosecuting, said at about 11pm he was asked to eject a man on the dance floor whose drunken behaviour was causing concern to the landlady at the Bondgate premises.

Miss McCormick said the customer, who was with work colleagues for a pre-Christmas celebration, was banging into other people on the dance floor.

Storey led the 43-year-old man to the fire exit to the rear of the premises, but there was some pushing between the pair.

Miss McCormick told the court: “The customer couldn’t understand why he was being ejected and, at that point, it’s accepted the defendant punched him, causing injuries to his face.

“At the time both were known, or familiar with each other, although they were not friends of any description.”

The injured man received hospital treatment for severe bruising and swelling to his face, specifically around the left eye.

He said he was left in considerable pain for which he took pain relief medication in the immediate aftermath.

Miss MCormick said the complainant initially believed he had been punched at least twice and possibly kicked in the face.

The 49-year-old defendant, of Cartmell Terrace, Darlington, was due to stand trial at the court this week after previously denying a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.

But on the day of trial he admitted the slightly less serious offences of common assault, on the basis he was responsible for a single punch.

A probation report read to the court stated Storey fully accepted responsibility for his actions which have had a “significant impact” on him, as he has had his door supervisor badge revoked, in March last year, which has left him out of work in the intervening period.

David Callan, mitigating, told the court the defendant was “sorry” for his actions, not least for the 15-months of earnings he has lost as a result.

Recorder Eric Elliott told Storey: “The customer was vulnerable due to the drink he had, and you had a duty to care for him, not to punch him.”

But he said that as Storey has already suffered a loss, in the withdrawal of his door supervisor’s licence, he would impose a 12-month community order, with 180-hours’ unpaid work and an £85 statutory surcharge.