Man ended up in swamp during boatyard birthday brawl at Martlesham Creek – court hears

Martlesham Creek - photo by Stephen Squirrell

Martlesham Creek - photo by Stephen Squirrell - Credit:

Bottles and chairs were thrown during a brawl at a 50th birthday party at a Suffolk boatyard, it has been alleged.

Mark Ward, who organised the party at Martlesham Creek in July last year to celebrate his birthday, ended up in a swamp during the incident, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Mr Ward told the court he was clearing up at the end of the evening when he heard shouting and screaming and saw a car near an area where people were sleeping in tents.

Fearing for the safety of the people in the tents he stood in front of the car forcing it to come to a halt.

He saw the vehicle was being driven by his daughter Chelsea’s boyfriend Kieran Watchman, who had been at the party with his brother Thomas.

Mr Ward said Kieran had been shouting abuse about Chelsea and he had tried to calm him down.

Someone else had then reached into the car and removed the keys from the ignition and Kieran Watchman had allegedly got out of the car and “stomped” towards Mr Ward.

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“He thought I’d got his keys,” said Mr Ward.

He said the next thing he knew he was climbing out of a swamp and he then recalled an altercation and people allegedly pulling the Watchman brothers off him.

Mr Ward claimed he was knocked unconscious during the incident and was left with bruising and a bump on the back of his head.

Kieran Watchman, 26, of Robeck Road, Ipswich and Thomas Watchman, 29, of Devonshire Road, Ipswich have denied affray on July 19 last year. David Baird, prosecuting, alleged that during the disturbance Thomas and Kieran Watchman picked up bottles and chairs and started throwing them around and shouting threats.

He alleged that Kieran Watchman had also shut a car door on his girlfriend Chelsea’s hand trapping it in the door.

After their arrest the brothers gave police prepared statements in which Kieran denied hitting Mr Ward and another man and claimed they had hit him first.

Thomas Watchman denied throwing chairs and bottles and denied he had threatened anyone with a bottle.

The trial continues today.