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Joe Akka: an editorial

Jonathan Schofield on the Confidential reaction to the big story of the weekend

Written by . Published on April 23rd 2007.

Joe Akka: an editorial

The nation – or at least the Manchester bar-going public – was, and seemingly still is, divided by the jailing of Joe Akka on Friday.

The comments on this website fall into three camps, those who thought the jailing was justified and too lenient, those who thought it was harsh but you can’t go around hitting people. And the problematic third group who disagreed with the verdict and thought Joe Akka harshly treated. This lot had a splinter faction who thought the victim of the assault had brought it on himself and that it was ‘unfortunate’.

The facts are these: no matter how affable or not Joe Akka has been in his conduct with individuals – and he's always been courteous to me - in court he was convicted of assault, fined and sent to prison. The court would have heard both sides of what happened and this is the punishment they meted out and one they thought was just. You have to believe in the Rule of Law. You have to believe that punching people in the head is wrong except as self-defence in very rare circumstances which may also be brought to trial.

A second point we want to make concerns the nature of the comments on the site. Manchester Confidential is Manchester’s independent online magazine. We love your comments. But we would like to reiterate that we will remove rants which are excessively rude and which are defamatory. As this site develops over the next few months there will be more stories to do battle with, so keep it passionate and funny but please avoid obscenities or malice

And a word about ‘Anonymous’ tagging too. It’d be better for people to give themselves a name. If there are twenty anonymous entries then it’s hard to identify who said what and hard to develop a discussion. Pseudonyms are not ideal but they are a start, a first name would be much better, a full name best of all.


Several comments have claimed that Manchester Confidential has been inconsistent over this story – and the pure journalistic integrity of The Independent was cited.

I stand by the comments I posted on the site on Friday. 'I'll be monitoring the stories from now on and looking to see how they develop. But we won't be Soviet and change the past. Inconsistency is a part of all media groups including The Independent. To pretend it isn't is to be blind. To pretend people aren't inconsistent is to be blind. To demand politicians, for instance, be consistent - which maybe some people think they should be from age 20 to 60 - is silly. We get things wrong we get things right and Manchester Confidential is no different. Life you know.’ I suggest that people buy a copy of Private Eye every fortnight and read 'Media News' for a clue to the level of contradiction in the press.

In the meantime keep reading. We’re Manchester owned and independent - a rare quality with the media in this city. As Manchester Confidential develops we want you to tell us exactly what you think of us and the job we are doing.

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32 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Mr XApril 23rd 2007.

Mr X will meet you somewhere dark and dingy, like round the back of Piccadilly, at 9pm. Or not. Nah, not bitter -- just a bit sick of seeing my city get overrun with yuppie restaurants when there wasn't anything wrong with it in the first place!

AnonymousApril 23rd 2007.

Lucie I agree with you, at least Joe didnt run a trial on tax payers money (maybe if he was x-examined and his side of the story came out all those with the opinions would keep them to themselves!) he has pleaded guilty, was sentenced and is serving his punishment. There is alot of rubbish written on this rant so to all those who have created the "i hate Joe Akka" campaign out of this and for all those who have jumped on the bandwagon - because they have been turned away from Panacea, get a life and move on. No doubt he will be out in 6 months for you to express your views to his face.

JaneApril 23rd 2007.

Good editorial Jonathan. I do note however that another rant has appeared from someone clearly stating that Mr Docksey is a liar and lied throughout his trial. I hope that you act upon this as you did with others over the weekend

AnonymousApril 23rd 2007.

In response to Mr Burke's Comments – He states that due to the hard work of the pub and club network they have seen an increase in visitors, firstly I would like to say fantastic work but secondly there is no other bar in Manchester that has such a high profile as Panacea. In many travel pieces on Manchester Panacea is listed as the place to visit. So although Panacea is not and has never been a member of the Pub and Club Network I would most definitely say that regardless of the actions of Joe Akka and people’s personal feelings about the venue this is the one bar that has raised the profile of the bar industry in Manchester and long may it continue to do so.

Mr XApril 23rd 2007.

Don't worry Phil, we'd never get that s--t hole Panacea mixed up with anywhere decent! I reckon that place, and its sister in Alderley Edge, should be closed down. But I suppose it'd just mean another restaurant would turn into a f--king "celebrity haunt". You'd never catch me near any of those places!!

SamApril 23rd 2007.

To the last person who wrote: you have hit the nail on the head! Panacea is a great place to go out! looking forward to spending another bank holiday in there!!

rinkydinkApril 23rd 2007.

this is simply a place for up-their-own arses coke-heads.it's good to have places like panacea OPEN cos it keeps all the nutters together and away from decent places

ITS OVER FOR PAN.April 23rd 2007.


johnthebriefApril 23rd 2007.

I can't speak for anyone else on here but my comments on the door staff come from talking to one or two of them socially when they were working at my local.They are the ONLY ones I have ever heard bragging about hitting customers.I have never been turned away from Panacea (largely because I've never wanted to go back) and I'm afraid have no axe to grind

AnonymousApril 23rd 2007.

Count Me In!!!

Brian Harvard -April 23rd 2007.

There are better places to go now on that road, there is tim bacons and living ventures' Grill On The Alley, Steven Walkers other brand; RBG:- restauarant bar and grill and the massively hyped up Ithaca from Arnie Hira. And if you dont like that road, there is always the beautiful 235 and cloud 23. I personally feel, that the overall sentiment towards Pana See Ya,(sorry but whoever wrote that was funny!)is predominantly negative, and people are very anti-pan/anti-akka. Joking aside there future doesnt look bright, but definatley Orange taking into consideration the copius amounts of sunt tan lotion they need to wipe of the sofas in there! Rest In Peace Panacea... Cant really say it was fun anyway!!!

SamanthaApril 23rd 2007.

I'm all for people giving their personal opinions but as the CCTV footage is availible we can only see what happened when Mr Docksey was removed from Panacea, only Mr Akka and Mr Docksey know what REALLY happened inside to provoke the incident. I personally believe Mr Akka shouldn't have lost his temper in such a violent way but it was a very unfortunate event, especially for a James Bond Stuntman (who claims he wasnt drunk..?) not to dodge that one. As for the comment that Panacea has the most agressive doorstaff...I find this a very strong statement, this is in the news as Panacea is a high profile Bar, I've heard of a lot worse happening in clubs and I'm sure there's more that never comes out! AS for Panacea being full of t**ts, Don't go, simple. Not everywhere can suit everyone!

TrickyDickyApril 23rd 2007.

I hope the police now object to the renewal of the license at Panacea as the Management/Owners have shown a blatant disregard of what is acceptable behaviour by the "responsible" person in charge.I agree with a number of posters I have been and its full of Insolvency practioners, Wannabe Lawyers & "Consultants" who try and out do each other in buying cheap champagne its like the sugar lounge now.Hope it gets closed down to send a message to other Bar Owners that they have a Duty Of Care!

Mr XApril 23rd 2007.

Agreed me me me. I'm hardly A-list myself, or even Z-list, but even I can get in Panacea. Places like that just get full of people who think of themselves above everyone else and it really makes for a menacing atmosphere. Give me a gig at the Night n Day or comedy at the Frog and Bucket any day.

we love itApril 23rd 2007.

Joe SMakka @ PAN A SEE YA!!! Brillaint!!! Genius! Why dont we see how powerful this tool is and voice our complaints to manchester licensing to revoke the Pana See Ya license to 11pm.... hahahah get the Canon from the church on John Dalton Street to make another complaint, hes got some seriass influence with licensing. Why not email them your self:For general enquiriesPhone 0161 234 4512Fax 0161 234 4412Email licensing@manchester.gov.ukTextphone 0161 234 4919 AddressManchester City CouncilThe Licensing unitRoom 1012 (level 1)Town Hall ExtensionMANCHESTER M60 2LAUK This bar deserves to be shut down or boycotted. And if the police and the licesning dont re-assess this then need to be investigated too!!!

StevieApril 23rd 2007.

RE: MR X...totally agree man...supply and demand yes...that says more about this city than it should. Let the fakes have their crappy watering holes...shi*e music, trendy cocktails & some geek telling you your haircut is 'in' are all its about anyway. Much love!Stevie

me me meApril 23rd 2007.

anon, big up to mr x. i can get in anywhere i want so i'm not bitter. problem is, this aint london. there is not the stockbroker class to sustain it all. so places like panacea just end up full of the 'weekend millionaire' class of recruitment consultant and solicitor who are then made to feel like they are the chosen few. result - bars full of tWWts!

Won't be going there again!April 23rd 2007.

Maybe the big story has escalated because Joe Akka presents himself as a respecatble business man on the front line of ensuring manchester is a safe place to eat & drink. However, his recent actions have blown his cover!! Now we see that he does not practice that what he preaches and his consequences are unfortunate but justified.

SamanthaApril 23rd 2007.

Emily, finally someone talking sense with me! It's frustrating me that people are being very narrow minded about the situation that they only know from rading in the papers! What happened is an unfortunate event end off.

LucyApril 23rd 2007.

MESSAGE TO PHIL BURKE: you have credited yourself with too much intelligence, and the readers of your article with not enough. Surely no one is naive and stupid enough to believe Mr Docksey had done nothing wrong to be removed from the premises in the first place. Star of the films? or not, every one should conduct themselves in a proper manner and should consider other people on their nights out. The court heard in detail from Mr Docksey and the prosecution his events of that evening - THE COURT THREW IT OUT!!!! As Mr Akka pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, he never had the opportunity to give his evidence, bring witnesses, or give any reasons that provoked him, SO AGAIN YOU ARE WRONG, both sides of the events were never heard in detail! He was sentenced for assault, but he shouldn’t be in prison for throwing a punch in temper, just because the instigator fighting back sustained more horrific injuries, which you so carefully detailed as though it excused his behavior. I've been the victim of an aggressive drunk, it’s not funny, it’s frightening, I would have hit him with everything I had if I’d been able, good job. I didn’t, I could be behind bars if he had fallen and hurt himself! What a wasted opportunity Mr Prat in not reporting the dangers of drink, rather than taking advantage of the situation to air your own personal grudge. When will we learn, enough is enough Mr Prat, it is not ok to go out, get plastered and cause trouble for everyone else. Mr Akka, put his staff and customers safety before his profits by removing someone he felt was a threat, despite the fact he was spending money at the bar. He didn’t go to work with the intention of hurting anybody, it was a situation that was laid at his door and everything is so easy in hindsight. Sorry, I’ve just realised I’ve called you a Prat throughout this article, when really your a Burke! Let’s hope there’s no fighting at the football tonight, the prisons won’t cope!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Wayne DockseyNovember 23rd 2014.

MESSAGE TO LUCY ! Some things stand out in the above. 'THE COURT THREW IT OUT' as Mr Akka pleaded guilty I did not need to and did not give any evidence ! Therefore he was sentenced on the evidence and his own police statements ! Secondly I was far from being drunk as the only alcohol consumed that day, evening, night was two sips of a glass of champagne prior to being ejected, brutally assaulted and hospitalised ! It can be clearly seen from the CCTV that at no time was I in any way aggressive, the instigator or fighting back. Sorry to have taken so long to reply but it has taken several years for me to recover from my injuries enough to do so !

Retards Are USApril 23rd 2007.


Phil BurkeApril 23rd 2007.

Members of Manchester Pub & Club Network were disgusted and shocked to hear about the ferocious attack on Wayne Docksey enjoying himself in the trendy Panacea club , Mr Docksey, 54, suffered brain damage and a fractured skull and doctors later removed a blood clot the size of a fist from his head. Joe Akka, 31, who runs the trendy Panacea club in Manchester city centre, knocked James Bond stuntman Wayne Docksey to the ground with a single punch to his head. Mr Docksey from Middleton has appeared as a stuntman in a string of Hollywood films including the 1977 Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and works as an animal handler for TV and film crews.The court heard he was on a night out with members of his family one night last August when they went to Panacea, which is a favourite haunt of celebrities and footballers. Champagne He had drunk a small amount of champagne and claimed he was then escorted out by two doormen for no reason. When he was outside the club in John Dalton Street, he was hit by 31 year old Akka and he fell against a parked car before hitting the floor.The judge sentenced him to 13 months in prison and ordered him to pay his victim £10,000 compensation. He was also told to pay £2,000 in court costs. Phil Burke Spokesperson for the Network said that such unnecessary violence used by the Venue manager Joe Akka was clearly an abuse of power and it was a utter disgrace and this sort of violence will not be Tolerated in or around any licence venues in Manchester City Centre And Since the late 1990s Manchester Pub & Club Network with Greater Manchester Police and their city safe unit and along side Manchester City Council in cracking down on all types of thuggish behaviour affecting the night time economy , Furthermore because of all the hard work done by everyone we are proud to say we have seen a vast increase in both visitors and businesses coming back into our vibrant city centre simply because of its thriving party feel safe atmosphere, and every weekend we are attracting well over 120.000 people to one of the safest cities centre in the country. We hope these events at Panacea will not damage the very good and hard working reputations of many of the pubs and clubs owners and their staff Manchester Pub & Club Network would like to stress that Panacea has never be involved in the Network and has never been a member of our organisation

AnonymousApril 23rd 2007.

Its all about supply and demand Mr X

andieApril 23rd 2007.

I had a nasty experience at Panacea new years eve. A friend of mine was escorted out of the building for no apparant reason by doorstaff. She was sat down on a bar stool chatting to a friend and then grabbed and led upstairs. I managed to catch a glimpse of her being led upstairs so i followed straight up, asking the doorman (very calmy) why she had to leave. He said she had, had too much to drink then turned on me saying right your going too. Then I was grabbed by one of the doormen and thrown out myself, i wasn't even allowed back in the club to get my own coat. When i insisted i had a right to get my coat back and walked back into the reception he lifted me up pushed me out of the door. I had been drinking as it was new year but had in no way brought any attention to myself other than asking why my friend had to leave. Panacea is not the type of bar which tends to attract rowdy people anyway, and it was a pretty relaxed evening. I spoke to a male friend of mine a couple of days later about what happened, and he said the doormen played a similar trick on his friend. They told her a 'friend' was at the door wanting to speak to her, so she was taken upstairs and then not allowed back in! This was a total lie, just told so they could force her to leave. The manager had watched all these events and did not say a word, just sat there smiling. It is very irresponsible to leave girls on their own outside the club without even being able to tell their friends they were outside. There is often no mobile signal in the club so you would then have to make your own way home. A lot of doorstaff nowadays are nothing more than thugs who love the power they get out of asking people to leave when they've done nothing wrong.

johnthebriefApril 23rd 2007.

Panacea has long been known for having the most aggressive door in the city - I guess the management style trickles down.I do not understand people trying to justify someone who attacked a customer so savagely that he nearly died. What can anyone do to "ask for" such treatment? Why was the manager interfering in a situation that should have been left to the bouncers?Why does anyone ever go to Panacea anyway?

LisaApril 23rd 2007.

Thank you Emily, for saying it how it is.Best wishes to ALL concerned.Whats done is done.Leave it there and let it go. No doubt there will be another fight, most likely with far worse consequences, that goes wrong outside another bar in manchester, involving two other people..... But cause it won't involve panacea or joe akka, you probably won't even be aware that its happened...........Fact is its probably already happened... numerous times over.....and far far worse.....

AnonymousApril 23rd 2007.

Whatever has happened in the past has happened....this incident happened 8-10 months ago at least, so give over....there have been no other problems to do with the establishment and people who go there still have a great time....panacea is in a class of its own whether people like it or not....people go because they enjoy it....that why the place is full all the time and always has a queue of people waiting to get in....its the place to be....the people trying to boycott the place are obviously in it for their own gain....must not be doing so well at their place i guess!!

NikApril 23rd 2007.

Maybe they should make the CCTV footage public and then people can see exactly what happened and make your own mind up.

AnonymousApril 23rd 2007.

Mr X sounds a little bitter......personal thing is it?

EquilibriumApril 23rd 2007.

FACT:Panacea has a varied cliental, wealth, race, CAREERS and origins. FACT: Famous and Rich people DO visit Panacea on a regular basis.Everyone has freedom of choice, people are different, if we all did the same life would be dull!A lot of the comments are small minded and stereotypical. If people really feel strongly about something, they should think hard and view the situation objectively and be pro-active not reactive. The law has the final decision. Its made-the case is closed. If people feel anymore towards this perhaps they should enrol at Law school.

Emily (used to work at Panacea)April 23rd 2007.

I feel sorry for all these people who have nothing better to do then slate Joe without all the facts, I myself worked front of house of Panacea for 8mths, and have continued to go there every week since I left!, the door team have always been polite and courteous to all people who come to the door not just regulars or people that look right (which by the way is not bling or designer gear, its how you work what your wearing.. rock on primark)… you all see it from the other side, you don’t know how many arrogant drunk w***kers come to that door, slating the door staff telling them ‘who the f do you think you are’ threating to ‘knock em out’ etc etc, just because they are being turned away, and might I add in a polite way, asking them to step away from the door, Joe is the one that put all of that into place, he never accepted fighting in his club, that’s why there wasn’t any, only around Xmas when drunk lawyer and solicitors started to act the big I am harassing people!! Joe takes pride in looking after his customers; there is no reason why he would attack this man without being provoked, believe me he is not the type of person that gets wound up easily. As other people who know him have said he’s accept what he did was wrong, and that is why he pleaded to the charge. To the people who say he’s a bully and an arrogant person, you have no clue, you don’t know him and does the fact that you have obviously been turned away from there really make you feel that bitter??... if it does I suggest you take a long hard look at yourself, and asses your life because its rather pathetic!!!

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