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'MacGOWAN WANTED GAY SEX SO I HIT HIM' Man jailed for 3yrs after attack in pub.

Byline: EMMA BRITTON

POGUES legend Shane MacGowan was attacked after allegedly offering an Irish scaffolder cash for sex in a pub toilet, a court heard yesterday.

Liam McInerney, 23, "saw red" after the "unwanted and unwelcome" approach. MacGowan, 46, was left with a fractured cheekbone and bruising after being punched and kicked repeatedly at a pub in central London.

Charlotte Welsh, defending, said: "Mr McInerney is not the only man who would find it sexually threatening to be approached in the way he was that day by Mr MacGowan.

"When Mr MacGowan initially made contact with him he stepped aside.

"Mr MacGowan then approached him again and put his arm around his shoulder and there was a blatant offer of money for sex.

"It was only after that that Mr McInerney took the wholly wrong approach by punching Mr MacGowan in the face three times. To some degree it was an attempt to remove himself from the situation. In his own words, 'he saw red'.

"Mr McInerney was sexually abused by someone in the town where he grew up.

"When someone has been through something like that the reaction to a sexual approach in that way can be quite extreme."

But Gudrun Young, prosecuting, insisted the attack at the Joiner's Arms in April this year was "entirely unprovoked".

She told Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court: "Shane MacGowan says he was struck some 10 times then kicked three times on the floor after a brief exchange in the toilet."

Miss Young said Shane MacGowan claimed his teeth had been knocked out during the attack but she said publicity shots of the musician suggested he exaggerated his injuries.

She said: "He did sustain substantial injuries most notably a fracture to his right cheekbone and quite severe bruising which required medical intervention. In interview the defendant admitted attacking him and put forward the mitigation a homosexual advance had been made to him. He had reacted badly to this and launched into the assault.

"While there may have been some sense of provocation there was nothing that would justify the attack that was launched into and the extent of the injuries sustained."

Judge Jeremy Connor also heard how McInerney punched a woman in the face at a pub in Hackney, East London, last year.

She suffered a fractured jaw and needed titanium plates to be fitted. Ms Welsh said McInerney was "horrified" that he could have hit a woman.

He had been on drugs at the time of the attack on the woman, she said, but was now clean.

The judge sentenced McInerney, originally from Ireland but now living in Forest Gate, East London, to three years in prison for the two counts of GBH.

He said: "These offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.

"The first case was an unprovoked attack with a victim who had a fractured jaw and had a plate inserted. The second was a sustained attack with many blows including kicks on the floor."

McInerney, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, said: "Thank you, your honour." Shane MacGowan did not attend sentencing.

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BEATEN UP: Shane MacGowan
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 25, 2004
Words:523
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