Judge slams ‘madness’ of Hartlepool men involved in derby day brawl

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A JUDGE slammed two Hartlepool men for their involvement in a derby day brawl which was described as “madness”.

Violence flared at Sunderland train station on October 27 last year after the Black Cats beat rivals Newcastle 2-1.

Kevin Brown, 30, of Raby Gardens, Hartlepool and Peter Grylls, 30, of Durham Street, Hartlepool, appeared in court with two men from the Boldon area.

They all admitted public order offences.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the men involved, who all have jobs and families, had not been at the game and had been watching the match in city bars.

Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite told the court: “The case concerns violence between two groups at Sunderland Metro that happened after a derby between Newcastle and Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

“They are not rival fans and had watched in a pub.

“Police were, of course, dealing with large scale disorder arising from the match.”

Also in court were Sunderland council planner Idris Balarabe, 36, of Whitburn Terrace, East Boldon, and Jeffrey Moorhouse, 36, of Davison Street, Boldon Colliery.

CCTV footage of the violence, which lasted less than a minute once it erupted, showed punches and kicks being thrown between the warring groups, involving around six people.

Judge John Evans said: “This is the most disgraceful incident.

“We have got four or five men in the dock, there should be more in the dock, who all behaved with the maturity of people about 15 or 16.

“Their good characters makes it extraordinary.”

The judge sentenced all four men to 12 month community orders with unpaid work and costs.

The judge told the men their involvement in such offending was “madness” and added: “What caused you to do this is simply beyond my understanding.

“You all ought to feel thoroughly ashamed of yourselves.”

Christopher Dorman o’Gowan, defending contracts worker Brown, said: “He describes this as a ‘very bad error of judgement’ which is understatement of the day or perhaps his life.”

Richard Herrmann, defending Grylls, said: “He completely took leave of his senses.

“Nobody comes out of this with any credit whatsoever.

“The men all effectively apologise to each other and go their separate ways.”