Groom-to-be in train trouble

A BRIDEGROOM was arrested on his stag do along with two of his pals after a drunken day at the races.

Robert McKie, his brother Kevin Winspear and Michael Arnell were detained by officers from the British Transport Police after causing mayhem on a railway station as the bachelor party headed home.

The men from Hartlepool attacked a group who had been singing Sunderland FC football club songs and calling them “monkeyhangers”, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The group had been on an all-day drinking session at Thirsk races and 33-year-old McKie’s party were ordered off the Grand Central service at Northallerton after occupying reserved seats and screaming abuse at train staff.

Security videos from Northallerton Station showed Winspear, 29, throw the first punch which started a battle with the other gang who were changing trains for Darlington.

The court heard that CCTV footage showed a lone woman porter trying to drag the brawlers apart and a young mum with a pushchair being escorted away from the scene.

Prosecutor Dan Cordey said that McKie was filmed kicking one man who was on the floor.

Rod Hunt, mitigating McKie said: “He understands how his wife and family would have felt if they had been on that station that day.”

Richard Herrmann, mitigating for Winspear, said that it had been accurately described by one witness as “an horrific display of violence”.

He added: “He accepts that he threw the first punch and that dragged in his brother McKie and the others.”

McKie, Winspear and Arnell, 31, pleaded guilty to affray on Saturday, August 4, last year.

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, told them: “You came in essentially as men of good character, you do not leave as men of good character.”

The judge said that rail travellers had the right to expect to travel in comfort and not to be bothered by drunken yobs

McKie, of Avondale Gardens, Hartlepool, Winspear, of Sinclair Road, Hartlepool, and Arnell, of Duncan Road, Hartlepool, were all sentenced to 16 months jail suspended for two years with a four-month curfew from 8pm to 5am, and each were ordered to pay £722 prosecution costs.

Spennymoor man Gary Watson, 51, and soldier son Daniel Watson, 24, admitted common assault and threatening behaviour respectively after becoming embroiled in the same incident.

Gary Watson, of Cragside Close, Spennymoor, was fined £250 with £400 prosecution costs, and his son, of Carver Barracks, Saffron Walden, was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work under an 18 month community order with £722 prosecution costs.