Video: Landlord tells of savage pub attack

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THREE robbers who violently attacked a pub landlord during a £3,500 robbery have been jailed for a total of 20 years.

The three targeted The Wellington in Waterlooville and smashed Frank Doyle around the head with a knife-sharpener.

Frank Doyle, the Landlord of The Wellington public house in London Road Waterlooville, was attacked by robbers'' ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (141250-0669)

Frank Doyle, the Landlord of The Wellington public house in London Road Waterlooville, was attacked by robbers'' ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (141250-0669)

But now the raiders have been given long prison sentences.

Jack Sullivan, 20, of Bedhampton Way, Havant, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years; Alex Gaunt, 21, of Bishopsfield Road, Fareham, received six years; and Dalton Stead, 29, of Broom Avenue, Orpington, got seven years.

Stead had only been released from jail days before the robbery after serving time for burglary.

The three pleaded guilty to the robbery.

The scar from what happened will never go

Frank Doyle

Handing down his sentence at Portsmouth Crown Court, Judge Ian Pearson said the crime was planned and the attack had caused Mr Doyle severe psychological damage.

Mr Doyle praised the sentences given to his attackers, who robbed the Wellington pub in Waterlooville, where he also lives, in the early hours of April 19 last year.

The 62-year-old said now he needed to take tranquilisers for his nerves and still suffered from panic attacks caused by the assault.

‘I hoped they’d get more but I was quite pleased with that,’ Mr Doyle told The News.

Alex Gaunt

Alex Gaunt

‘The scar from what happened will never go.

‘I was getting panic attacks every day, but now it’s once or twice a week.

‘Because I’m diabetic and have high blood pressure it could actually kill you.’

Prosecutor Matthew Lawson told the court that the robbers hid for two hours in the pub’s attic on the night of the crime.

Dalton Stead

Dalton Stead

Mr Doyle shut the pub about 11.15pm and locked the day’s takings in a safe.

After going upstairs and changing for bed, he saw two of the men in the darkened kitchen.

One of them wrestled Mr Doyle to the ground and restrained him with a belt.

He was then hit four times on the back of the head with a metal knife sharpener which left him with a 3cm wound, for which he needed eight stitches.

Recounting the night’s events, Mr Lawson told the court: ‘Then one of the men said to him “where are the keys? Where is the safe? Where is the money?”.

‘He then heard another voice from downstairs saying “I’ve got it”.

Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan

‘Once he realised they were gone he tried to call the police but there was blood all over his phone and he couldn’t see what he was doing.’

Mr Doyle said he was feeling better since the robbery, but was still uncomfortable at the pub and never got a full night’s sleep any more.

He said: ‘I’ll never feel safe in my own home again.

Mr Doyle said he had worked in pubs since he was 17 but had never been a victim of violence.

He has managed The Wellington for four years but said he now wanted to move on because of the attack.

‘I was looking to be transferred to another pub, but my boss doesn’t have one at the moment,’ he said.

Mr Doyle said he was pleased his attackers were now off the streets.

‘They never drank in here before but they did come in and out to go to the toilet. They must have been sizing the place up,’ he said.

Sullivan was cleared of rape charges at Portsmouth Crown Court in a separate case last month.