Pub rumpus couple spared jail

Burnley Crown Court
Burnley Crown Court

A COUPLE involved in a pub rumpus which left the landlord injured have both kept their freedom.

Burnley Crown Court heard how drunken Joseph Conroy (32) had got in a row with the victim, who was the licensee at the Britannia Inn in Accrington. He was “dealt with” by a number of people in the premises, who maybe went a bit over the top.

Conroy’s partner, “formidable” Kassie Marshall (29), then appeared, over-reacted and sank her teeth into the landlord.

The hearing was told Conroy would say he had been grabbed by the neck and ended up unconscious as he was restrained.

Conroy, who had been given a suspended jail term last November and struck while on bail, had since made efforts to deal with his alcohol problem. He was now said to be a changed man.

The defendant admitted affray and was given eight months in prison, suspended for two years, with supervision and the addressing substance related offending programme. Marshall pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm. She received a 12-month community order, with 150 hours unpaid work. The pair live on Ashford Street, in Nelson.

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Woolman told Conroy he had built up quite a bad record and if he had not made serious efforts to turn his life around, he would have been locked up. The judge continued: “It seems to me it would be ruining everything if I were to deprive you of your liberty.”

Judge Woolman told Marshall: “You haven’t got a bad record for violence, but from time to time you flare up in a rather forceful way.”

Mr Hugh Barton, for Conroy, said he had had a long standing dependency on alcohol which was spiralling out of control at the time. He had completed an alcohol programme and was now attending Alcoholics Anonymous.

The defendant was thriving under the suspended sentence order. The barrister continued: “It would be a real shame if these actions, which occurred when he was drunk, before the start of the order, were to jeopardise all the good work he has done.”

Mr Barton told the hearing Conroy knew his behaviour was unacceptable. He had been left with a few injuries and lost consciousness in the melee. The barrister added: “He still feels to be apprehended in that fashion was somewhat excessive.”

Miss Laura Barbour, for Marshall, said she would continue to defend her loved ones, but she recognised biting was perhaps a step too far.