Whitby 'Wild West' brawl - second man locked up after scenes of 'sickening' violence

A second man has been jailed following a mass brawl in Whitby likened to a “scene out of the Wild West”.

Ricky Philips, 33, was in the thick of the mayhem which resulted in two men being seriously injured and a boxer being blinded in one eye.

In scenes of “sickening” violence, a group of about 10 men fought a running street battle in front of horrified tourists on the Whitby seafront as women screamed and terrified families and young children were “frozen” in fear, York Crown Court heard.

Chief among the drunken mob was Philips’s mate Ross Jameson, 32, who landed a mighty blow on the named man thought to be a boxer, who was immediately rendered blind in one eye, said prosecutor Brooke Morrison.

Ricky Philips

During scenes of chaos in the middle of the afternoon, one man was hit repeatedly over the head with a shop or pub advertising board amid a flurry of punches and grappling.

Cars driving along the seafront had to swerve away from the two warring groups and some were momentarily stranded as the drink-fuelled mob “criss-crossed” the road from one end to the other as men were being knocked to the ground.

The “explosion of violence” began when Jameson and his mates, who were on a stag do and pub crawl, passed the other group and Jameson “jokingly” started hitting one of them over the head with an inflatable guitar.

The other group retaliated, prompting a massive punch-up.

The victim was punched in the side of the face by Jameson as someone shouted that he was a “professional boxer”.

Jameson then lunged at him and punched him in the eye, causing him to “immediately lose his sight”, which became permanent loss of vision.

Miss Morrison said the victim now only had partial or tunnel vision in his right eye.

Jameson then punched the victim’s friend from behind as he tried to walk away.

This victim was also attacked by Philips and had been “clobbered” with an advertising board.

He suffered a black eye, bruising and swelling to his head, a burst blood vessel and cuts to his lips which had to be stitched.

Police later tracked down Jameson and Philips, who were the two main protagonists, and arrested them following evidence provided by a man who had filmed the “atrocious” violence on his mobile phone.

Miss Morrison said tourists and families were visibly shocked by the gratuitous violence on ‘Whitby Front’ which was teeming with visitors and cars which came to a standstill.

Jameson, of Lawson Close, Middlesbrough, was jailed for two years and nine months in October after he admitted causing grievous bodily harm, actual bodily harm and affray.

Philips, of Cornhill Walk, Ormesby, Middlesbrough, appeared for sentence on Friday when he was jailed for two years and one month for his part in the affray.

The court heard that parents were having to steer their children away from the violence and turn off the promenade.

One of the victims, a company director, said he had been left in “severe pain” and had been taking medication since the dreadful incident on January 11 last year.

He had turned into a “bit of a recluse” because he was scared to venture out for fear of being attacked again.

He had to take time off work following the “deeply disturbing” incident.

Judge Sean Morris said the “explosion of violence…in one of the most important tourist attractions in Yorkshire” was like a “scene out of the Wild West”.

He said he had noted the young couple “cowering on a corner” as a “group of drunken men (were) criss-crossing the road, beating the hell out of each other, using shop signs or pub signs to belt people over the head”.

“Women were screaming; men were shouting,” added Mr Morris.

“It was a scene of sickening violence.”

Philips and Jameson will serve half their sentences behind bars before being released on prison licence.