Hartlepool pair avoid jail after admitting their parts in brawl at £160-a-head festival

Durham Crown Court
Durham Crown Court

TWO Hartlepool men have walked free from court after a brawl at a plush hotel that saw an innocent bystander slashed in the neck with a champagne flute and needing 130 stitches.

Although they were not directly involved in the slashing on the man, who was at the £160-a-head Lobster and Oyster Festival at Hardwick Hall, in Sedgefield, delivering portaloos, guests Dwane Douglas and David Garside junior admitted their parts in a “melee” that ensued.

Durham Crown Court heard that Douglas, 48, of Sitwell Walk, Hartlepool, “pushed and shoved” and followed a peacemaker down a corridor before “raining down blows on him”.

The court was told that although Garside, 29, of The Oval, Hartlepool, did not strike anyone, he did pick up an ornamental lampstand and thrust it towards the scuffle although a doorman took it off him before it connected with anyone.

Both admitted affray at a previous hearing.

The incident, on April 27, 2012, was sparked when a third man, Stuart Bell, 46, of The Front, in Burnhope, County Durham, was headbutted by another man, who went to attack him with a broken champagne flute.

He admitted a lesser public order offence on the basis of self-defence but admitted picking up a lampshade and striking out with it.

Douglas was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.

Garside was sentenced to four months jail suspended for two years, fined £500 and ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work.

Bell was given a two-year conditional discharge.

All must pay £750 costs.

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