Soldiers fined after street melee

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court
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TWO soldiers and another man have all been fined after a drunken, early hours town centre melee in which several people were attacked.

Pennine magistrates heard how Nathan Akers, who has served in Afghanistan, fellow member of the armed forces Simon Walker and Ryan Chadwick, who wants to join the army, were captured on CCTV during the trouble on Hammerton Street, Burnley, on August 18th.

Akers, a member of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, punched several people in the fracas. He has a previous conviction for violence and is already on a supervision order.

The defendant (20), of Thursden Place, Chadwick (21), of Chapelhouse Road, and Walker (20), of Walton Lane, all Nelson, each admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

Akers, who spent seven and a half months in Afghanistan and Chadwick, both said to have kicked and punched others, were each fined £400, with £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. Walker was fined £150, with a £15 victim surcharge and £85 costs. Chadwick and Walker were of previous good character.

The Bench, who said there was some provocation, did not impose drink banning orders on the trio.

Mrs Hilary Rees (prosecuting) said the incident took place just before 3 a.m. Police were called to reports of fighting and when they arrived could see a large group of men, two of whom were squaring up to each other. The defendants were detained and interviewed.

Mrs Rees said Akers made no comment when he was questioned. Chadwick said he had had eight pints of lager and 10 to 12 bottles and didn’t remember anything. He told police he felt like an idiot.

Walker, who had hit a man and knocked him to the ground, claimed he saw three friends being attacked. He described himself as an eight on the scale of 1 to 10 for intoxication and said he wasn’t really in control of his actions and misread the situation.

For Akers, Mr Dylan Bradshaw said he had a number of issues in relation to such behaviour. The CCTV footage did not show how the incident started. The defendant had had a relatively minor disagreement with his girlfriend, a group of young men decided to intervene and the incident developed.

The solicitor added: “There is a lot of young men on that video footage who could easily have been arrested.”