Thugs jailed for resort brawl

A PAIR of thugs who were involved in a mass brawl in Felixstowe are today beginning prison sentences.Benjamin Vincent and Karl Brown are the first people to be sentenced for their part in the huge fight which took place in the resort on Easter Sunday between a group of local youths and Lithuanian migrants.

A PAIR of thugs who were involved in a mass brawl in Felixstowe are today beginning prison sentences.

Benjamin Vincent and Karl Brown are the first people to be sentenced for their part in the huge fight which took place in the resort on Easter Sunday between a group of local youths and Lithuanian migrants.

Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday that the fighting began on the seafront at around 5.30pm and, at its height, ten police cars, two Transit style vans and the police helicopter had to be used to restore order.

Fighting broke out again later on in the day in Holland Road, where police estimate there were around 30 to 35 people involved.

John Fenn, prosecuting, said: “It was a violence that officers said they had never experienced while they were working in that area.”

The court heard that police officers described Vincent, a recovering alcoholic, as one of the “major participants.”

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Mr Fenn said: “He was seen to come over to an officer who had hold of another defendant and was aggressive, telling him to let the man go.”

Later in the evening Vincent was also seen brandishing a large pole, as well as a piece of masonry from a wall that had been damaged during the fighting.

Brown was also described by police as a “significant figure” in both parts of the fight.

When Vincent was arrested three days later police officers found a knife blade with tape around the handle in his coat pocket.

Mr Fenn said: “The explanation he gave police was that he was fearful there may be further incidents involving what he called 'the Russians'”.

In August Vincent was also arrested for causing £300 of damage to the door of his rented property in a drunken outburst.

The court heard that when police arrived at the property he was waving a metal pole around.

Vincent, 21, formerly of Garrison Lane, Felixstowe, has been in custody ever since and admitted charges of violent disorder, having a bladed article in a public place, damaging property and possessing an offensive weapon.

Brown, 20, of Kiln Field, Felixstowe, also admitted violent disorder.

Sentencing the pair, Judge David Goodin said: “This was a terrifying incident, lasting a significant period of time, in which you were both members of a group of some 30 to 35 people intent, it would seem, on bashing the living daylights out of each other and causing considerable alarm, fear and terror to residents.”

Both men, who have a string of previous convictions for assaults and petty crime, were sentenced to six months in prison for the charges of violent disorder.

Vincent also received a four week sentence, to run consecutively, for possessing a bladed article and six week sentences for the criminal damage and possessing an offensive weapon to run concurrently.

In the days after the fight, which occurred on April 16, police arrested more than 21 people who were believed to have been involved.

In total, nine people have appeared in court in connection with the brawl - two youths under the age of 18 have pleaded guilty to their part in it and are due to be sentenced in youth court, while five adults are due to appear before the Crown Court for trial, having denied their involvement.

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