Man arrested in Bulgaria over Hardwick Hall glass attack

Hardwick Hall.
Hardwick Hall.

A suspect who has been wanted for more than three years in connection with a glassing at a festival has been arrested in Bulgaria.

Officers from Durham Constabulary placed a European Arrest Warrant on John Charles Mullen after he was wanted in connection with a glassing at the Lobster Festival, at Hardwick Hall Hotel, Sedgefield on April 27, 2012.

Victim Neil Parsons needed 167 stitches in his neck after he was stabbed during the incident.

He spent a week in hospital and lost six-and-a-half pints of blood.

In 2014 Dwane Douglas, 48, of Sitwell Walk, Hartlepool, and David Garside, 29, of The Oval, both Hartlepool, admitted affray after being involved in pushing and shoving in the scuffle.

Douglas was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 12 months with 150 hours unpaid work and Garside was given four months, suspended for 12 months, with a £500 fine and 100 hours unpaid work.

Stuart Bell, 46, from The Front, Burnhope, in County Durham, was given a two-year conditional discharge after admitting a public order offence.

But officers still wanted to trace Mullen, 48, who is from the Manchester area but has links to Hartlepool.

On Wednesday, he was stopped at an airport in Sofia, Bulgaria, after landing on a flight from Turkey.

Extradition proceedings to bring him back to the UK are now under way.

Detective Constable Karl Hopps said: “This was a particularly nasty incident in which a man nearly died.

“It has been a lengthy investigation by Durham Constabulary and the National Crime Agency to try and locate this individual.

“We will now seek to bring him back so he can be charged.”