Hotel chef left with fractured skull after alleged cricket bat attack

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

The head chef at a Suffolk hotel suffered a fractured skull and fractures to his face and wrist after being beaten with a cricket bat in his attic bedroom at the premises, a court has heard.

Michael Johnson, who worked at the Worlington Hotel, near Mildenhall, was found lying on his bed “in a pretty bad way” by a night porter following the alleged attack, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

The door to his bedroom had been forced open and there was blood on the walls, floor and mattress, said Benedict Peers, prosecuting.

Mr Johnson was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital, where he was found to have a fractured skull, air and blood in his brain, fractures to his cheekbone and round his eyes, a fractured wrist and extensive bruising.

Before the court is Paul Falco, 39, of Bridge End Road, Red Lodge, who has pleaded not guilty to wounding Mr Johnson with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm on April 17 this year.

The court heard that at the time of the alleged attack the Worlington Hotel was closed due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions but Mr Johnson, who was the head chef, was still living at the premises in an attic room.

Several weeks before the alleged attack Mr Johnson had found Paul Falco, whose wife was the manager of the hotel, in the kitchen with another man and saw him taking something out of the freezer.

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When Mr Johnson queried what he was doing, Falco allegedly said the hotel owner had given him permission to take meat for his family from the freezer.

Mr Peers said Mr Johnson had spoken to the owner of the hotel and it was the prosecution case that she hadn’t given Falco permission to take the meat.

Mr Johnson had subsequently contacted Falco and spoken to him about the incident

CCTV footage from the night of attack on Mr Johnson allegedly showed  Falco and two other men trying to force open a door to the hotel and then running up a staircase in the hotel with Falco holding a cricket bat.

Mr Peers said that a minute after running upstairs the men had come running back down.

Falco was arrested on May 14 and he answered no comment to questions put to him about the attack.

The trial continues.