Man jailed over Xmas brawl

A MAN jailed after a family Christmas drink turned into a public house brawl has had his sentence halved at London's Court of Appeal.Kevin Smith, 23, of Pimpernell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to affray and common assault in May this year, and last month at Bury St Edmunds Crown Court he received a six-month prison sentence.

A MAN jailed after a family Christmas drink turned into a public house brawl has had his sentence halved at London's Court of Appeal.

Kevin Smith, 23, of Pimpernell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to affray and common assault in May this year, and last month at Bury St Edmunds Crown Court he received a six-month prison sentence.

He stood in the dock at the Crown Court with father Kenneth and brother Roy after the trio had become involved in violence at a Holbrook pub on Christmas Eve last year.

Mr Justice Penry-Davey yesterday said despite the presence of young children in the pub, and one woman saying the incident left her as scared as she had ever been, Smith's sentence was "manifestly excessive" and cut it to three months.

Earlier Noel Casey, for Smith, told Mr Justice Penry-Davey and Mr Justice Aikens the married chef had never been in trouble before and had learning difficulties.

He added he was at a low risk of reoffending in the future and had learnt a "salutory lesson" from the "disgraceful incident" that was at the lower end of the scale for crimes of its kind.

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Mr Justice Penry-Davey observed that although a custodial sentence was appropriate, six months was too long, especially as prison populations are currently ever expanding.

The judge told the court that Kevin and Kenneth Smith were ejected from the Compass pub by landlord Richard Gooding for using bad language at the bar.

A scuffle ensued as they were thrown out, and soon they returned with Roy Smith and burst into the pub.

Customer Craig Snowling who was paying his bill at the bar was jostled and his father Alan was also attacked when he went to the aid of his son.

Mr Justice Penry-Davey added tables and chairs were knocked over and a number of young children enjoying Christmas Eve were left screaming and crying with fear.

The judge said many left without paying their bills, leaving the landlord further out of pocket.

Kenneth Smith was given a non-custodial sentence for his part in the incident, while Roy Smith received six months.

 

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