Former county cricketer Raoul East jailed for ‘sustained assault’

Raoul East

Raoul East - Credit: Archant

A former county cricketer has been jailed for a savage attack on a friend who he spotted kissing his wife on the CCTV system at the pub which he ran.

Raoul East was cleared of attempted murder but jailed for four years for the attack which was captured on the same CCTV system at the bar in Seaton.

Victim Andrew Hines had been the disc jockey at the pub the night before and stayed on for an all night drinking session, which ended at 5am when East went upstairs.

He left his wife Debra with Mr Hines, who leant across the bar and started kissing her passionately on the lips without realising the whole scene was being relayed upstairs by the CCTV system.

The same camera then captured 25-stone six-footer East as he stormed into the bar, dragged Mr Hines off his bar stool, stamped on him at least three times and punched him in the face as hard as he could six to eight times.

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He then stepped away, picked up a bar stool, turned it upside down, and used it to batter the unconscious victim twice as he lay on the floor of the bar.

He returned to his flat above the Vault Bar but returning five minutes later with a steak knife which was used to inflict a 3.5 centimetre deep wound in the victim’s chest.

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East, aged 38, is a former MCC, Somerset and Warwickshire second XI cricketer, who played with and against England stars including Graeme Swann and Matthew Hoggard.

He said the stabbing was accidental and happened while he was trying to use the knife to threaten Mr Hines.

East, of Marine Place, Seaton, denied attempted murder and was found not guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court. He admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was jailed for four years by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC.

He told him: “You were upstairs at the public house where you had drunk probably more than you should sensibly have done. You looked at the CCTV covering the bar area and saw your partner Debra and Mr Hines.

“He was the DJ that night and they were kissing each other in a manner which clearly caused you to lose your temper and come down to the bar, understandably.

“The CCTV pictures the jury saw showed you punching him as hard as you could. There is no question about that and you knocked him out with the first blow.

“You talked about stamping on him without force but it is quite clear you used as much force as you could possibly have done. Having injured him in that way you picked up a bar stool and brought it down on him.

“He suffered a number of injuries to his head and a fracture of one vertebra. It was a sustained assault. I take into account there was a greater degree of provocation than is normal and this was out of character.

Mr Robert Cowley, defending, said a sheaf of references showed East to be ‘a gentle giant’, who has no record for violence or any other offending.

He said: “It is plain he was deeply hurt, upset and angry at what he saw on the CCTV.”

During the three-day trial East told the jury he had been the landlord of The Vault for ten years and run it with his wife Debra for five or six.

On the night of the attack he went upstairs to his flat to watch cricket on television in the early hours, leaving Debra in the bar with Mr Hines.

He said the CCTV monitor was under the television and he was shocked to see his wife kissing Mr Hines.

He said:”I glanced down at the CCTV and I could not believe what I saw. He was my mate and it was not a nice thing to see. I thought we were friends.

“I went straight downstairs. I reacted and went straight down. I intended to hit him. I was angry. I felt betrayed. It should not have happened.

“I grabbed him and got him on the floor. I stamped on his stomach and punched him to his head and stamped on his chest. I aimed the bar chair at his chest and not his head.

“I admit I intended to hit him and to hurt him but I did not want him going into a coma or going to hospital. I did not intend to kill him and I stopped because I did not want it to get any worse.

“He was conscious but disoriented and there were a few moans.”

East said he went back upstairs to call his aunt to ask her to come round to look at Mr Hines and went back downstairs with the knife.

He said: “I picked up the knife to scare him. I was pointing at him and shouting at him that I wanted him to stay away from my wife and leave town. I did not want him around.

“I did not intend to hurt him with the knife. He was conscious and got up. Debra saw the knife and would not have known what I was doing.

“She was trying to stop me using it and she grabbed my right arm but I was 25 stone at the time and she was about eight and a half stone.

“I was pointing the knife in his direction and telling him to stay away from my wife and get across to him I did not want him around.

“Debs was pulling at my arm. I was trying to point the knife with a jabbing motion. I was just trying to scare him. I wanted to deter him from coming around.

“I did not intend to cause a wound. If I had been trying to kill him I would have done the job. It was a very sharp steak knife and it would have gone right in if I had used force.”

East played for the MCC Young cricketers, Warwickshire and Somerset Second XIs in the late 1990s, playing with or against future stars including Matthew Hoggard, Graeme Swann and Peter Trego.

He comes from Birmingham and played club cricket with Moseley but his professional career was cut short by injury and he spent four years coaching inner city children before moving to Devon to become a publican.

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