Doorman at Bingley nightclub Bijou denies manslaughter charge over death of clubber

A doorman at the former Bijou nightclub in Bingley has denied a manslaughter charge following the death of clubber James Etherington ten days after an incident outside the premises last November.

The club's licence was subsequently revoked in the aftermath of the 24-year-old's death and on Friday Keighley doorman Ciaran Spencer made his first appearance before a Crown court judge accused of unlawful killing.

Family and friends of Mr Etherington, pictured above with family members, packed the public gallery at Bradford Crown Court for a hearing which lasted about 20 minutes and Spencer, also 24, was told that his trial could start in May or July next year.

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Spencer spoke only to confirm his name and to formally enter his not guilty plea to the manslaughter allegation and his barrister Richard Wright QC indicated that the trial could last about four weeks.

Yorkshire Water worker Mr Etherington, who was later described as "a superstar", was taken to hospital with head injuries following the incident on November 25, but he died ten days later surrounded by his family.

Floral tributes to Mr Etherington were laid at the scene following his death and a memorial service and vigil was held in Bingley.

During today's hearing it emerged that experts in martial arts, self-defence and security issues could give evidence during the trial and Mr Wright indicated that it would take months for a defence expert in neuro-pathology to be organised.

"We are going to need to find an equivalent martial arts expert which isn't going to be straight forward I anticipate," he told Judge David Hatton QC.

The judge said the court could accommodate the four-week trial starting on May 20th or July 29th and he gave counsel seven days to check if the date in July was suitable for the witnesses.

Judge Hatton told Spencer, of Green Head Drive, that he was extending his unconditional bail until his trial.

"I am not in a position, as you will have gathered from the discussions that there have been, to tell you currently when your trial will take place," he told Spencer.

"You will of course be notified and you must keep in touch with your solicitors and ensure that they are able to contact you because there may be other hearings in this case even before the trial."