Eastbourne landlord ‘strangled’ and ‘punched’ in violent town centre assault

Jeff Roll was injured in an assault in his bar
Jeff Roll was injured in an assault in his bar

An Eastbourne landlord says he was strangled and punched by three men in a violent attack in his own bar.

Jeff Roll, of the Phoenix in Seaside Road, had to have his eye glued after he was ‘laid upon’ on Saturday night (December 17) by the men he had asked to leave.

Jeff Roll was injured in an assault in his bar

Jeff Roll was injured in an assault in his bar

The father said, “They went behind the bar, I said ‘you can’t do that you are going to have to leave’. I got laid upon.

“Before I knew it one of them started to strangle me from behind and another punched me. My eye had to be glued.”

He said his 64-year-old father Colin was knocked unconscious in the attack. The men, in their 20s, had been part of a larger group of around 12-15 other people, he said, who were all smartly dressed and of mixed ages as though they had been to a Christmas party.

One of them, Mr Roll said, was holding a small Christmas tree.

His wife Emma said, “He wasn’t able to do anything about it. That does affect you mentally. He’s not been himself.

“So close to Christmas as well. We’d had such a good day, we’d had a great Christmas party in the daytime – we’d had 30 men drinking all day and it was fine – everyone was having a great time. And then it gets ruined by one group.”

She said, “They hung around outside for 20 minutes. It wasn’t until I said I was calling the police that they left. They had tried to take things, including a box of Christmas crackers.”

Officers were called to the assault at 12.10am. Sussex Police said, “The victim, a man in his 40s, was attacked by three men at around 12.10am following an altercation. A further man stepped in to stop the attack and he along with the first victim were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

“The suspects are described as white men and all in their early 20s. The first was 6ft, of stocky build and brown hair and the other two were slim build and with brown hair.”

Anyone with information can report it online or call 101 quoting reference 6 17/12.