A busker who smashed a glass bottle over the head of another homeless man during a fight in a car park in the centre of Falmouth had no memory of the event when questioned .

Adam Searle, aged 45, who now lives in a tent on a bandstand in the grounds of a castle near Bude, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentencing today after pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm during an earlier hearing at Truro Magistrates Court.

Searle was part of a larger group of homeless people who were living on and around Church Street car park and Upton Slip at the time of the attack on July 4 last year and were blamed for a spate of anti-social behaviour reported in the area.

Falmouth Neighbourhood Policing Team, Cornwall Council and Falmouth Harbour had been working on problems occurring frequently on the slip for many months following complaints by people living nearby.

The fight was reported in the Packet on August 9 and the next day the boats, moored alongside Church Street Car park, were unhooked by the harbour master and taken away.

Falmouth Packet: At one point Searle rolled down Upton Slip stepsAt one point Searle rolled down Upton Slip steps (Image: Supplied)

It was claimed that the boats were at the centre of anti-social behaviour allegations in the inner harbour. There were also claims that drug dealing was taking place there.

The court heard that on July 4, 2022 a member of the public called police to Church Street Car Park after witnessing a man smash a glass bottle over another man’s head. The victim of the attack another homeless man called Richard Burke, was left with his face covered in blood.

When police arrived both men had gone. The fight was recorded by a number of people on their mobile phones and the recordings were shown in the court.

Falmouth Packet: The fight was recorded by a number of people on their mobile phonesThe fight was recorded by a number of people on their mobile phones (Image: Supplied)

The next day Mr Burke went to the police to report the attack and an ambulance was called to treat him.

He told the police that Searle had attacked him for no reason and had smashed a bottle on his head causing injuries to his face.

“He tried to defend himself,” the prosecution barrister told the court. “He feared for his life and thought the defendant was trying to kill him.”

A witness to the incident said Searle was shouting obscene language during the attack and pushed his victim to the floor and continued punching him.

On the videos shown to the court witnesses can be heard telling Searle to stop it with one woman saying she “can’t bear it” several times.

At one point during the fight Searle is pushed down the steps of Upton Slip but comes back up and continues to attack Mr Burke.


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Searle’s defence barrister told the court that it was a drunken brawl with both men heavily intoxicated. He said Searle could not remember it and was horrified by what he saw in his video.

He said he was a member of a group of homeless people who were living in Falmouth at the time.

He had been convicted of other acts of violence but not since 2017 although in very similar circumstances.

He told the court that Searle was currently living in a bandstand in the grounds of a castle near Bude and was content with his homeless lifestyle.

The probation officer told the court that when Searle wasn’t drinking he was ‘mild mannered’ but could be violent when drunk, although he had not seen evidence of addiction.

Searle was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to complete 120 hours of community service.