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Pair given suspended terms for Chester bar brawl

Published date: 22 April 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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TWO people have been spared jail after a mass brawl in a Chester bar when bar stools were thrown and a man was left needing stitches.

Simon Reevell, 32, of Clare Road and Lee Skinner, 36, of Holmside Lane, both of Liverpool and Jodie Crotty, 25, of Aldon Road, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, all admitted their part in an assault on a couple in Bar Lounge on October 21, 2012.

Reevell and Skinner pleaded guilty at a hearing on March 10 to unlawfully wounding Jamie Easham and Crotty admitted assaulting Emma Garner occasioning actual bodily harm.

At the sentencing hearing at Chester Crown Court an arrest warrant was issued for Skinner as he failed to appear and is believed to be in Spain.

The court heard in the early evening of October 21, 2012, the three defendants and another woman were drinking in Bar Lounge on Watergate Street.

Reevell went over to another couple, Mr Easham and Miss Garner and asked for a number for a local taxi firm.

While Miss Garner was looking for the number Crotty came over and said to Miss Smith: “Wouldn’t touch you with a barge pole, love”.

Prosecuting, Jonathan Austin said the remark upset Miss Garner and she said the man who was with Crotty looked uncomfortable with her behaviour.

Later on in the evening when the defendants went to leave the bar, Crotty slapped Mr Easham on the back of the head and then lunged at Miss Garner, hitting her while she was on the floor and pulling her hair.

Meanwhile a fight had broken out with the two defendants. Mr Easham was repeatedly punched to the face and the back of the head and Reevell threw a bar stool at him.

The court heard Mr Easham was left with a deep cut to the back of the head which required stitches, a gash above the right eye and severe bruising to the face after the attack.

Miss Garner was left with bruising and was very shaken.

Mr Austin said after the attack finished Crotty was looking for her shoe in the bar and Reevell said to her “look what you have done with your big mouth”. Police arrived and all three were arrested.

The court heard Crotty was of previous good character and Reevell had two minor convictions for unrelated offences.

In mitigation for Crotty, Martin Reed said she was “ashamed” and showed genuine remorse for her behaviour.

Mr Reed said at the time Crotty believed her friend was at risk but she was mistaken.

Mr Reed said Crotty felt “considerable shame” for her actions, especially as she was the sole carer for her ill, four-year-old son who would be having a heart operation next month.

Mr Reed said Crotty knew her actions put at risk of going to prison and she feared what would happen to her son if she did go to jail.

For Reevell, Jason Smith said his actions were totally out of character. His client, who was a youth worker in Merseyside, had previously served his country in the army.

Mr Smith said Reevell has recently got married, bought a house and his first child was on the way. Reevell was in employment and would be able to pay compensation to the victim.

Judge Roger Dutton said both defendants “were very close to immediate custody” but he would suspend sentences in both cases.

He sentenced Crotty to three months, suspended for 18 months, and ordered her to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay £500 compensation. He banned her from Bar Lounge for 12 months and put her on a curfew from 6pm to 6am for 56 days.

He sentenced Reevell to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered him to do 200 hours unpaid work and pay £1,000 compensation. He banned Reevell from Bar Lounge for 12 months and put him on a curfew from 6pm to 6am for three months.

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