Thugs who attacked hospitality boss leave behind £3k Breitling watch

Wish you could turn back time?: Pub campaigner taunts thugs who lost a watch when attacking him… as it turns out to be a £3,000 Breitling

  • Sacha Lord, 49, revealed he was attacked while out in Manchester on Saturday
  • But he said the men, believed to be in their 50s, left a watch at scene of attack
  • Mr Lord says the watch is a £3,000 time-piece by luxury Swiss maker Breitling
  • The hospitality chief has been critical of Government’s handling of pub and bars
  • In April he launched a legal bid to get indoor hospitality areas reopened sooner 

A pub campaigner who took the Government to court over easing lockdown restrictions has revealed an unexpected prize after being attacked by two thugs – a £3,000 Breitling watch.

Hospitality adviser Sacha Lord said he was set upon by two men – believed to be in their 50s – who began punching him at a venue in Manchester on Saturday night.

But in the melee one of the men lost his watch, which Mr Lord pocketed and then discovered was the valuable Swiss watch. He then taunted his attackers on social media by saying he will sell it and treat himself with the proceeds. 

Mr Lord, 49, who is the area’s Night Time Economy Adviser, said: ‘So last night around 9pm 2 50+ old men started punching me for no reason.

‘When I was protecting my head, I noticed one of their watches came off. 

Manchester hospitality boss Sacha Lord was set upon by two attackers who began punching him due to his views on the reopening pubs

Mr Lord  appears to have had the last laugh over his attackers – after revealing that one of the men, said to be in their 50s, dropped a Breitling watch during the assault

‘As the venue threw them out, I put the watch in my pocket. I’ve just had a look and it’s a £3,000-plus Breitling.

‘First thing tomorrow I’m going to sell it and treat myself. Whoever you are…I hope you’re following me. Thanks!!’

Despite his tongue-in-cheek taunt on social media, Mr Lord’s team say the watch is now in the hands of the police – who are said to be investigating the attack. 

‘The incident which occurred on Saturday, May 15 is now a police matter,’ his spokesperson told MailOnline. 

It comes as Mr Lord earlier took to Twitter to reveal the attack on Saturday.

‘Sadly, tonight I was punched and attacked regarding my views on re-opening. I’m fine, but Demi (my partner) is beside herself. What sort of a world are we living in?’

Greater Manchester Police refused to comment on the investigation when asked by MailOnline. 

Mr Lord, who is the co-creator of the Parklife festival and The Warehouse Project, has been a vocal critic of the Government’s messaging on hospitality.

He and Punch Taverns founder Hugh Osmond last month teamed up to bring a legal challenge against the Department of Health over its easing of lockdown.

The pair called on the Government to reopen indoor hospitality at the same time as outdoor hospitality on April 12.

They presented evidence which they said showed the risk of Covid transmission was higher in shops than it was for indoor hospitality areas.

However the challenge was thrown out earlier this month by a High Court judge. Indoor hospitality areas opened on May 17 – as the Government had earlier planned. 

But Mr Lord, and other hospitality chiefs, have called for a definitive date to lift remaining restrictions on pubs and restaurants – such as mandatory table service and capacity caps.

He and Punch Taverns founder Hugh Osmond last month teamed up to bring a legal challenge against the Government over its easing of lockdown. Pictured: Pubs and bars were allowed to reopen indoor areas yesterday

Punters flooded back into pubs across the country, including at The Practitioner pub in Hertford

Industry chiefs say many pubs and bars will not be able to turn a profit until the measures are lifted. 

Under the current roadmap, such restrictions are due to be lifted in June, though the Government has not officially confirmed this.

And today Mr Lord told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that the industry needed more than ‘rumours’.

He told the programme: ‘We need absolute assurances. We have been told about this review date of June 14 – one week isn’t enough to get hospitality running again.’

‘It is going to take at least three years for businesses to return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of getting rid of loans, the debt, the rent arrears and the VAT holidays.’

He said even with yesterday’s easing of some restrictions ‘businesses were operating at 50%’ as they had to provide a range of safety measures including one-way systems and table service. 

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