FOUR men involved in ‘cretinous violence’ have been told by a judge they do not come into his court for an offence like that and walk out via the public entrance.
All four were given immediate prison sentences by Judge Peter Cooke at Warwick Crown Court after they had pleaded guilty to their parts in an affray in Leamington town centre.
Jake Cook, 24, of Sandpits Lane, Coventry, who had also admitted offences of burglary, assault, assaulting an emergency worker, damage and theft was jailed for three-and-a-half years.
Michael Neary, 27, of Fillongley Road, Solihull, and Daniel Aspinall, 27, of Raphael Close, Coventry, were both jailed for 20 months, and Shane MacPherson, 31, of no fixed address, was jailed for 15 months.
Prosecutor Andrew Wilkins said on a Saturday night in November 2018 MacPherson exchanged words with another man in Warwick Street.
McPherson then swung a punch at him, knocking him unconscious on the ground, and a fight broke out in which all four defendants were involved and a second man was attacked.
They then swaggered away into the road before spotting a third man walking along Tavistock Street.
After MacPherson threatened he was ‘going to get it,’ the four of them surrounded him and he was punched a number of times before a police car arrived on the scene.
Mr Wilkins said the previous night MacPherson had been involved in an incident in Solihull for which he was jailed for 20 months in March last year for inflicting grievous bodily harm.
He also had other convictions for violence, while Aspinall had convictions for wounding or causing grievous bodily with intent and robbery, Neary had convictions for battery and attempted robbery, and Cook had convictions for 76 offences, mostly of dishonesty.
And after watching CCTV recordings of the affray, Judge Cooke pulled no punches as he told them: “This affray represents the sort of cretinous violence that mars our towns and cities.
“Even generally pleasant and agreeable towns like Solihull and Leamington turn on Friday and Saturday nights into places where decent people have to think twice before venturing into for fear of encountering yobs in mobs, off their heads on too much alcohol, and often illegal drugs too, cocaine in this case.
“You don’t come into my court for an offence like this, with antecedents like yours, and walk out via the public entrance – you go to prison.”
Outlining the other offences Cook had admitted, Mr Wilkins said in April last year the police had been called to an incident at an address in Coventry, and when he was arrested Cook spat in one officer’s face and racially abused another as he threatened them with violence.
At the end of that month he approached a man who was using a cash machine in Dunsmore Avenue in Coventry, punching him in the mouth when he refused to give him a cigarette.
Then on September 7 a woman was in her home in the city’s Tile Hill area, when she saw the door open and Cook inside, and she shouted at him.
Cook swore at her and took the keys to her Peugeot 407 which he then stole from outside.
The same month he carried out two thefts from the Spar store in Tile Hill, and following his arrest he assaulted a female police officer and spat all over the driver’s seat and steering wheel of the police car.