‘He pushed me against the wall and unbuttoned my shirt’: Students report further incidents with Jimmy’s bouncers
Jimmy’s say five bouncers have been fired since the first allegation came out
Following our report last week that Jimmy Allen’s nightclub is currently under police investigation after a bouncer allegedly sexually harassed a female student, more students have come forward to The Tab Durham with similar allegations.
Dave Bullock, the owner and resident DJ of Jimmy’s says he is “extremely saddened” to hear more allegations about door supervisors at his club, and that over the last three weeks he has dismissed five door supervisors.
The first of the new reports alleges that on the 27th October a student was punched in the face by a Jimmy’s bouncer, after being dragged from the dance floor with no reason given.
The first year student says he was with a group of friends on the Jimmy’s dance floor at around 12:40 when he and his group decided to “make a circle to have some air and some space”, as he says the previous song “had seen a lot of pushing and shoving”. He says the bouncers seemingly mistook this as a mosh pit and says he and another “were grabbed by the bouncer and turned around and forced out of the exit”.
As he was being removed from the dance floor, the student says:
“I did not attempt to break free and I did not use physical force, but the bouncer then punched me in the face despite this. I was not drunk and the physical force response was not relative to what was happening. It was completely unprovoked.”
As far as the student can tell, he says the other person wasn’t treated in the same way.
After the incident, the student says: “I didn’t want to just leave it because, though I was shaken and not badly hurt, I was concerned that the same bouncer may do it again to someone else and hit them harder.
“I didn’t want the hassle of a police investigation, which I was told would involve interviews, statements, witness reports and CCTV footage, so I instead tried to contact Jimmy’s. The problem is they have no clear means of being contacted – no website or email was readily available and the three phone numbers that the club supposedly had were not answered. I left a message on one and have never heard back.
“It was a stressful ordeal and something I had never experienced before and hope to never experience again. I have heard other stories of the bouncers being rough at Jimmy’s, and with no clear means of reporting them, it stands as a poor precedent.”
Despite the student saying he contacted Jimmy’s without ever receiving a response, Dave Bullock says no incidents were reported to him, which he says meant an internal investigation wasn’t possible.
Another student told The Tab Durham that on the 15th November a Jimmy’s bouncer allegedly sexually harassed her by pretending to give her a hickey and laughing about her weight loss, after they didn’t believe the photo on her ID was hers.
The second year student says that she “lost a lot of weight over the past year”, and is “noticeably much thinner” than her passport photo, which she uses as her ID. She says she’s aware it doesn’t look like her very much, and says the bouncers at Jimmy’s made comments about how the passport couldn’t possibly be hers because of this. Although she says she can’t remember what was said exactly, she says it “made [her] extremely uncomfortable being complimented in such a creepy way and being asked to spin around and to ‘prove’ it was [her]”.
She says the bouncers then noticed a birthmark on her neck, which she says “unfortunately looks like a hickey”, and says the bouncers proceeded to make “sexually suggestive comments” about it.
She alleges one of the bouncers then grabbed her shoulders and leant in to her left side, mimicking giving her a hickey, and she says that the bouncer said: “If he gave me a hickey, it would match my birthmark. It was at this point I wanted to leave, but the other bouncer still had my passport”.
The student says she was with two other girls and they were meeting the rest of their group inside. After the bouncers allegedly sexually harassed her, she says: “They then asked me to step inside and took proper photos of me against the wall using the camera (I don’t really know why) and said that they’ll believe me if I came back in two weeks and the “hickey” was still there.”
She says: “It’s a general culture of making women feel uncomfortable and boundary pushing and it is threatening having a 50 year old old man grab you and jokingly say he will do something to you, even as a joke. My friends said they were gonna get their phones out to film at that point”.
Despite the her allegations, she says this was just a more recent experience and that she’s heard much worse.
Later that same week on Thursday 17th November, a male student alleges he was also sexually harassed by a bouncer after attending a formal at Collingwood.
The student says he arrived at Jimmy’s around 10:30, and left early as he doesn’t like when clubs get too busy. He says he thanked the bouncers at the door, and walked out as the last group of people from the queue in. The student then says he was physically sexually harassed by a bouncer:
“As I turned the corner I was grabbed back by one of the bouncers and pushed against the wall. He then proceeded to unbutton my waistcoat. After pushing my waistcoat to the side he then unbuttoned my shirt from top to bottom, he then pushed my shirt aside and started laughing at me and then pushed me on my way while continuously laughing. I didn’t say or do anything as I was just gobsmacked at what had happened, once I was away (down by Paddy’s) I texted my friends who then left to come and meet me”.
The student says :”It made me feel really self-conscious, having been bullied about my weight all my life the last thing I needed was a bouncer laughing at my body on a night out to be honest.”
The student has reported the incident to the police, who say they have added the incident to the wider case, and a spokesperson for Durham Security Services Ltd says the bouncer involved in this incident has been fired and removed from the Jimmy’s door.
Durham Security Services Ltd started providing door staff for Jimmy’s in October, and the spokesperson says he believes all the staff with allegations against them were privately hired by Jimmy’s from before the take-over, and notes that a number of previous Jimmy’s bouncers were vetoed. Bullock says he hired extra external staff from the agency to improve security due to how busy the club is.
On the 24th November, a female fourth year student says the bouncer on the door at Jimmy’s told her being worried about walking in Durham at night was “ridiculous”, after he denied her boyfriend entry and she was forced to walk home alone.
The student says the bouncer forced her to go downstairs and split her up from her boyfriend before he was allowed into the club. She says the bouncer told her to wait downstairs for her boyfriend and was promised he’d join her, despite her boyfriend then being turned away.
Twenty minutes after being told to go down stairs, the student says she went back to talk to the bouncer as her boyfriend hadn’t joined her and the poor signal downstairs meant she had lost communication with him. She says she explained to the bouncer that her boyfriend was supposed to walk her home as she was nervous of being harassed at night.
The student says: “The bouncer told me my boyfriend should have waited outside for me if he knew I was scared walking alone. This was impossible as we had lost contact after I was forced to go downstairs, and he was physically turned away and told to go elsewhere.
“The bouncer said I was ridiculous to be scared of walking around Durham at night, because he said Durham was very safe. I told him I have been harassed many times when walking in Durham, and he couldn’t reply.”
A recent poll by The Tab Durham found that 43 per cent of Durham students don’t always feel safe when walking in Durham, a statistic which the Managing Director of Durham Security Services isn’t surprised by, and says door staff in Durham shouldn’t be either, as Durham is well-known for being “dangerous” at night.
Regarding the recent allegations against Jimmy’s bouncers, he said in a statement to The Tab Durham: “Since The Tab raised the initial complaint with us, we have investigated and have completely restructured the door team at Jimmy Allen’s. We continue to work with the venue’s owners, and The Tab to initiate further changes”.
Dave Bullock, the owner of Jimmy’s says: “Whilst you can understand we cannot directly comment accurately on these issues as they were not reported to us, therefore we have not been able to launch an investigation.
“We do not tolerate bullying or misconduct by our door supervisors. Over the last three weeks we have stopped five door supervisors from working on our premises due to different concerns, and one was actually brought to our attention by the door staff themselves, who asked for him to be removed.
“We spoke to Steve from Durham Security Services Ltd in depth, and as a result he has appointed a new head doorman to work on our doors to supervise premises, and other door supervisors are being brought in to work with him creating a new team on Jimmy’s doors. He has also assured us that the he and the other director of the company will be on Jimmy’s doors too to ensure all doors supervisors work the way they are meant to, which is to be welcoming, friendly, approachable, and there for the safety and security of customers staff and the venue.
“We again ask if anyone has a genuine complaint please let us know by social media message or in person all they need do is ask for Cheryl, Amanda or myself and appropriate action will be taken quickly”.
The police have not provided further comment.
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