THE trial of a barman accused of the alleged over-zealous expulsion of a supposed problem customer has been put back to start early next year.

Marc Evans was to have gone on trial at Durham Crown Court yesterday, on a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm on one of two men he was helping a colleague to eject from Utopia, a sports bar, in Chester-le-Street, on Friday March 2, last year.

His colleague was trying to usher out of the Front Street premises a man who appeared worse the wear for drink and Mr Evans was trying to assist, while preventing others in his group from becoming involved.

He is accused of either pushing or thrusting one of the other members of the group down stairs leading from the bar, causing him to land awkwardly.

The complainant is said to have suffered a fracture of the left hip in the incident.

Mr Evans denies the charge.

On what was to have been the first day of the trial the case was ‘mentioned’ at the court yesterday.

Martin Towers, for the Crown, said the purposes of the hearing was now merely to re-list the case.

A suitable date for the trial, estimated to run up to three days, was agreed and the 36-year-old defendant, of Norman Avenue, Silksworth, Sunderland, was bailed to return for the opening day, on January 29.