Scarborough racegoers on 'all day binge' start brawl with Chinese people at York train station
Pandemonium broke out at a railway station after four drunken racegoers from Scarborough caused a full-on ruckus which quickly got out of control.
Benjamin Saul Cooper, 20, and 19-year-olds Finlay Davidson-Ward, Joseph Jackson and Thomas Wade kicked off at York Railway Station after passing a group of Chinese people on the steps leading up to a footbridge.
What initially appeared to be high spirits and “high fives” between the two groups quickly descended into ugly violence after another man in the Scarborough group “took exception” to the outwardly-friendly exchanges and “hit or pushed out” at one of the Chinese men, York Crown Court heard.
“The Chinese males carried on walking and (one of them) turns and gives a one-finger signal to the defendants and their group,” said prosecutor Rob Galley.
There was a “stand-off” and then Davidson-Ward “pushed” the man in the throat, starting a brawl involving all four defendants. Another racegoer tried to break up the fight but was assaulted for his pains.
The waist-coated man said he heard one or others in the Scarborough group shouting offensive names and foul-mouthed abuse at the Chinese people, which the defendants denied.
Tensions appeared to calm, but then violence flared again after the man who was trying to keep the peace went to check on the Chinese man who had been attacked.
As the Scarborough group moved back towards the footbridge, the named peacemaker, in his early 30s, grabbed hold of Jackson and pushed him to the ground, but was then punched to the head and body and ended up on the floor himself.
The Scarborough group then punched and kicked him as he was lying helpless on the ground.
Davidson-Ward punched him “several times” while Jackson and another member of the Scarborough race-going party attacked another man.
Wade, of Ryndle Walk, Scarborough, and another named male joined in the melee as members of the public tried to intervene.
The waist-coated man was struck with more blows, at which point security guards and British Transport Police officers moved in to bring an end to the chaos.
Jackson, of Sandybed Crescent, Scarborough, was arrested at the station. His three co-defendants were arrested later that night, but charges were delayed.
They each admitted two counts of affray and appeared for sentence on Friday knowing their liberties were at stake.
The court heard that the group had been on an all-day bender at York Racecourse in the run-up to the incident at about 7pm on July 14 last year.
Defence barrister Andrew Petterson, for Wade and Jackson, conceded it was “absolutely disgraceful behaviour”.
He said they were both very promising young men. Jackson was on a joinery apprenticeship and Wade was a student at Northumbria University.
Fiona Clancy, for Davidson-Ward and Cooper, said they were both “ashamed” of their behaviour and “deeply remorseful”.
Davidson-Ward, of Laurel Close, Burniston, was an apprentice vehicle mechanic who had acted “out of character”.
Cooper, of Hoxton Road, Scarborough, was a “very promising” apprentice engineer.
None of the group had a track record for violence and it was the first time they had been out together on an “all-day binge”.
Judge Sean Morris condemned the four men for the “disgraceful” violence that was captured on CCTV.
“This is what happens when young men drink themselves into oblivion,” he added.
However, Mr Morris said that because of the inordinately-long time it had taken for the case to reach court, the defendants had already suffered the agony of not knowing whether they would lose their liberty since the incident 17 months ago.
“You’ve had to live with this which I accept is a real punishment,” he added.
“Justice delayed is justice denied, and so I’m going to suspend (the inevitable prison sentences).”
Jackson, who was in the thick of the violence, was given a 12-month suspended jail term and his three co-defendants were each given eight-month prison sentences suspended for a year.
They were each ordered to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work and pay £200 costs.
Mr Morris also imposed a four-month doorstep curfew on each of them. They will each be electronically monitored during the curfew, which bans them from leaving their homes between 6pm and 6am daily.