Man admits part in ‘mass brawl’ outside Ipswich pub

The fight happened outside the Dove Street Inn Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The fight happened outside the Dove Street Inn Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A labourer has been ordered to carry out unpaid work for his involvement in a ‘mass brawl’ outside an Ipswich pub.

Anthony Ford appeared before magistrates on Monday to admit using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear or provoke unlawful violence.

Ford, 30, of Woodhouse Square, was heavily intoxicated as the result of drinking with friends for most of Saturday, November 10, when he approached a female stranger in the beer garden of the Dove Street Inn at about 7.45pm.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said Ford was rude and abusive to one of the woman’s friends, who complained to the management.

When asked to leave, Ford declared: “I’m IP3. I can cut you.”

The altercation briefly moved inside, as Ford was involved in “pushing and shoving”, before he and his group were ushered out.

Mr Ablett said: “One of the witnesses was still upset and went outside to engage in a further exchange of words.

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“After more pushing and shoving, another witness stepped between the two groups.

“Mr Ford was surrounded and goaded into having a fight.

“When punched in the stomach, he retaliated by punching back, resulting in a mass brawl.

“He was being held back as further punches were thrown by other members of the group.

“This continued for several minutes before police attended and Mr Ford was identified as one of the initial aggressors.”

When interviewed, he could not recall even being in the Dove Street Inn that evening.

The court heard how Ford had been convicted on 16 occasions for 23 offences, including drunk and disorderly, assault and public order offences.

In mitigation, duty solicitor Mark Holt said the self-employed labourer had ongoing alcohol issues. Personal debt, said Mr Holt, had caused Ford to drink more frequently since last year.

“When in drink, and in that environment, his behaviour can deteriorate – as was certainly the case on this occasion,” he added.

Things had calmed down when Ford was asked to leave the pub, he added, but resumed when he was approached outside.

Ford was handed a community order, with 40 hours of unpaid work and up to 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement. Two other men were given police cautions following their arrests on the same night.

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