Street violence erupts after karaoke ‘insult’

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A MIDDLE-AGED woman, her two sons and three others were involved in violence after a karaoke “chavs insult” at a Colne pub, a court was told.

Shirley Hammerton (46), then working at the Jolly Hatters, Shane Hammerton (19), Peter Hammerton (25), Hannah Shearon, Rebecca Haworth, both 21, and Michael Hartley (25), all played parts in the trouble, which led to three people being attacked. Two of them, a young couple, were said to have been knocked out and were left injured.

Burnley Crown Court heard how in the two-part melee, Bernard Coughlin was hit on the head from behind and was set upon. His girlfriend, Gemma Machin, tried to intervene and was pulled away by Shirley Hammerton, who slapped her and ripped out her hair extensions. Miss Machin was also kicked and punched in the second half of the fracas.

The Hammertons, of Oak Street, Shearon, of Duke Street, Haworth, of Oxford Street, all Colne and Hartley, of Cross Street, Earby, had admitted affray on November 6th, 2010, and all walked free from court.

Shane Hammerton received five months in detention, suspended for 18 months, with 100 hours unpaid work, Peter Hammerton was given 12 months in jail, suspended for 18 months, with 18 months supervision, Shirley Hammerton got five months behind bars, suspended for 18 months, with six months supervision and 80 hours unpaid work, Hartley received eight months in custody, suspended for 18 months, with 100 hours unpaid work and Shearon and Haworth were given 12-week curfews between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Mr Robert Golinski (prosecuting) said one incident took place outside the pub and the other in the area of Norfolk Street, Colne, in the half an hour before police arrived at about 11-10 p.m.

Mr Coughlin and Miss Machin went with friends to the Jolly Hatters, Mr Coughlin took a turn on the karaoke and made some comment about “chavs” over the microphone. He was not a pub regular and a number of people took offence.

Mr Coughlin joined his partner outside the premises, where she was making a phone call and was struck on the head. He turned to see a group, including Shane and Peter Hammerton and Hartley and was taunted in an offensive way. He challenged the gang, but was attacked. The victim was punched, kicked, pushed and pulled, and suffered cuts to his face and was bleeding.

The prosecutor continued: “Gemma Machin tried to intervene to help her boyfriend, but was pulled away forcibly by Shirley Hammerton, who came out of the pub. Shirley Hammeron slapped Miss Machin and pulled her hair hard enough to detach her hair extensions.”

David Montgomery, one of Mr Coughlin’s friends, also tried to assist him, but was pushed by a group and Shirley Hammerton struck him in the face and knocked him to the ground. Mr Montgomery and Miss Machin tried to escape the scene and headed up Norfolk Street to Clifford Street, where Miss Machin’s father, Sean Machin, lived.

Mr Golinski said Sean Machin went out into the street to speak to Shirley Hammerton, who he had known for some time. By this time, she was on Norfolk Street, with more than 20 youngsters, including Shearon and Haworth. The group was joined by the Hammerton brothers. Mr Machin wanted to know what had gone on, Shearon threw a drink at him, grabbed Gemma Machin by the hair, pulled her to the ground and punched her repeatedly. Shane and Peter Hammerton and Haworth got involved with others and Miss Machin was hit and kicked. She thought she lost consciousness for a short time.

Peter Hammerton fought with Mr Machin and when Mr Machin was on the ground, he was booted by a number of people. The police arrived and the violence ended. The defendants were later arrested and all denied any offence when questioned.

The prosecutor said Mr Coughlin and Miss Machin went to hospital. He had a “C” shaped cut in his forehead, two other facial gashes and tenderness and redness on the back of his head. He complained of loss of consciousness for a few seconds. He had been left scarred. Miss Machin had suffered swelling, tenderness and grazes and a slight disruption of the joint between her left collar bone and shoulder joint.

The hearing was told Peter Hammerton had been given anti-social behaviour and drink banning orders in the past and had been to custody and his mother had a record for assault. Hartley and Shane Hammerton had previous convictions but Shearon and Haworth were of previous good character.