Grassington trio banned from local pubs after brawl

Craven Herald: Skipton Magistrates' Court Skipton Magistrates' Court

AGRICULTURAL workers who started a pub brawl in Grassington have been sentenced to 150 hours unpaid work by magistrates.

Brothers, David, 34, and Jonathan Walmsley, 27, together with Vernon Clarke, 34, started brawling at the Black Horse following a belated Christmas party, Skipton magistrates heard on Friday.

The fight, which also included a group of Latvian workers, employed on a nearby farm, was sparked by a small argument with the off-duty pub manager and drinking of around 15 pints for each man, the court heard.

The Walmsleys and Clarke, all from Grassington, were also banned from the four pubs in the village and The Old Hall, Threshfield for a year.

The court heard fighting had broken out after David Walmsley had been ordered to leave the pub by the off duty manager and had then returned with his brother.

Prosecuting Suzanne Paige said what followed could best be described as a "pub brawl".

Several punches were thrown, a bar man had his glasses broken by a punch and Clarke headbutted someone, she said.

The brawl spilled out in to the street, was over by the time the police arrived, and three people ended up with injuries.

The Walmsleys, agricultural contractors for the firm set up by their father, and Clarke, all admitted affray on January 18. They were all of previous good character and had been full of remorse when later interviewed by police and shown CCTV images.

In mitigation, John Spencer said it had been the Walmsley's annual works party and that a lot had been drunk.

During the evening, the men had been to three pubs in the town before returning to the Black Horse, where the party had been held.

He said the initial argument had been something or nothing and had developed into punching between the two men.

A group of Latvians, who had been drinking in the pub, had decided to get involved, he said.

He added that a lot of other people had thrown punches and his clients were surprised they too were not in court.

Mr Spencer said the Walmsleys were very hard working, employed in the family firm and worked very nearly every hour available.

Clarke, a family man, was employed by an agricultural company that occasionally worked for the Walmsleys.

Magistrates told the men it was a serious offence that had passed the custody threshold, but that their previous clean records and early guilty pleas had been taken into account.

Clarke, of South Wood Lane, David Walmsley, of Low Lane, and Jonathan Walmsley, of Hardy Meadows, will each also have to pay costs of £85 and victims surcharges of £60.

They are barred for a year from The Grassington House Hotel, The Foresters Arms, the Devonshire Hotel, the Black Horse, and the Old Hall, Threshfield.

The Walmsleys were given permission to attend their sister's wedding on October 4 and 5 at the Grassington House Hotel.

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