An Aberdeen lapdancing club manager attacked a customer and threw him down a set of stairs – on the night of the victim’s wedding anniversary.
The reveller was in a booth with two female members of staff at The Mask on Bridge Street, Aberdeen, when Mohammed Iqbal, a trainee manager at the club, brought a tray of drinks to the table – then turned violent.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard the customer had been led into the club on February 24 this year – and Iqbal, 29, swung punches at him four times when he refused to pay for drinks for the two women.
Iqbal then threw the man to the ground, placed him in a headlock and elbowed him in the face.
The victim suffered a fractured left cheekbone and permanent scarring to his right eye.
Another club worker, Chris Masson, joined Iqbal, then threw the man down a set of stairs and against a bar, before finally throwing him into the road outside.
The court heard the victim had been on a night out with his wife to celebrate their anniversary.
His wife had gone to bed at a hotel – but he stayed out in town.
Depute fiscal Lucy Simpson told the court two women “doing promo” for The Mask stopped the man on the street and persuaded him to go inside.
She said: “The complainer said he thought it was a bar and only realised it was a strip club when Iqbal demanded payment for all three drinks.
“There was a disagreement about payment and the complainer got to his feet. Iqbal punched him in the face causing him to fall back on to the wall.”
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CCTV played to the court showed two women leading the man into the club, with a pole dancer gyrating on a stage in the background.
Footage from the booth shows one of the female staff members removing her top, putting another top on and dancing next to the man before Iqbal walks in and punches him four times.
Ms Simpson said: “The victim had time off work while he recovered from the attack. He suffers from anxiety as a result of the attack.”
Iqbal, whose address was given in court as Anderson Drive, Aberdeen, admitted assault to the victim’s severe injury and permanent disfigurement.
Masson, whose address was given in court as Broomhill Road, Aberdeen, admitted assault.
He also admitted possession of a friction lock baton on March 6.
The court heard that Masson had gone to Kittybrewster Police Station on that date to discuss the assault and police found the baton in his rucksack.
The case was adjourned for reports and the pair are to be sentenced on December 16.
Mitigation was reserved until then.
Strip club closed doors after attack
The court case sheds more light on the reasons behind the council shutting down The Mask this summer.
The Evening Express exclusively revealed in July that Aberdeen City Council’s licensing board withdrew the Bridge Street lap-dancing club’s licence – but details of their decision can only now be reported after Iqbal and Masson admitted assault.
At a meeting in July, the board heard problems at The Mask stretched back 17 months – and the assault was the final straw for the board.
The now-closed venue’s website boasts “up-scale discrete adult entertainment in an intimate, sumptuous interior”.
A police report claimed staff had allegedly overcharged for dances and encouraged intoxicated customers to take up dances – allegations denied by The Mask’s personal licence holder Eric Chong, who added: “We have always adhered to the terms and conditions and have been open for 10 years.”