Three of eight thugs involved in “terrifying and gratuitous” gang violence at a Padiham pub, have been locked up.
Burnley Crown Court heard how in the trouble, on April 16th, 2010, four out-of-town victims, celebrating a birthday, were targeted. Only one of them had been brave enough to make a statement about the melee at the New Black Bull.
The woman was an innocent bystander, but was with three men who were attacked. She was eight months pregnant yet put herself between her friends and the “baying mob” – but it didn’t stop them. A snooker ball was hurled at her and she was petrified it would harm her unborn child if it hit her stomach.
The hearing was told how punches and a glass were thrown and one victim ended up with a bloody nose in the disturbance which occurred both inside and outside the pub and was captured on CCTV.
Danny Mills (23), of Harold Street, James Exton (25), of Anglesey Avenue, James Crabtree (24). of Caernarvon Avenue, Daniel Riley (21), of Padiham Road, all Burnley, Craig Doogan (25), of Church Street, Scott Derbyshire (21), of Lawrence Street, Jason Young (20), of Ingham Street and another defendant, who is facing another charge, all Padiham, all admitted affray. Exton had also admitted a separate allegation of assault causing actual bodily harm when he punched a man outside a pub, last November.
Father-to-be Derbyshire, said to be the ringleader and who was subject to a suspended sentence for smashing a man’s jaw at the time, was jailed for 61 weeks. The incident had begun after he had started talking to the victims in the pool room.
Exton, whose life was said to have hung in the balance after a serious attack on him, the summer before, was sent down for 77 weeks. He was said to have reignited the trouble after it calmed down. The defendant, now said to be determined to stay away from drink, was also banned from the New Black Bull and White Lion in St James’ Street, Burnley, for a year. James Crabtree started the violence by launching a kick and threw the pool ball. He had a record for serious violence and was sent to prison for 35 weeks.
Riley, a window cleaner with no previous convictions, was given 26 weeks in custody, suspended for a year, with a three-month 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and 150 hours unpaid work after he punched out twice at the fleeing victims. Mills and Doogan, who were on the periphery of the outbreak, were each given 12 weeks in jail, suspended for a year, with 100 hours unpaid work and three-month, 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfews. Young threw a glass but walked free, after a judge said he, unlike the others, fully admitted what he had done from the outset. He received 26 weeks in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for 12 months, with a three-month 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and 150 hours unpaid work. The other defendant will be sentenced later.
Sentencing the defendants, Judge Heather Lloyd, who had watched CCTV footage, slammed their behaviour as disgraceful and mindless and said there was evidence it was not entirely spontaneous as two of them went to the pub after being told of the situation by phone. She said most of the group had been drinking and some had taken drugs.
Judge Lloyd told the defendants they had behaved like violent thugs without any thought for anyone else in the premises. She said it was a miracle nobody was more seriously hurt and continued: “There is far too much violent behaviour as a result of young men like you becoming drunk and losing all inhibitions and sense of reason.” The judge added: “The public must be protected from such thuggery.”