Carl Burrell (27), Adrian MacKinnon (24), Michael Pankhurst (26), Benjamin Murray (19) and Mark Brown (28) were all sentenced in the Royal Court on Friday for causing an affray.Island and Jersey Scottish footballer Mark Brown was jailed for nine months, Carl Burrell for six months, Island touch rugby player Pankhurst and MacKinnon were both fined £2,000 and amateur boxer Murray was fined £500.Crown Advocate Conrad Yates told the court that the crowd started fighting after the closure of the Liquid nightclub during the early hours of 22 March.
A number of men also got involved in the brawl, which at one point spilled across the dual carriage way and involved up to 20 men.CCTV operators filmed the incident while police back-up was called in.
Footage of the fight, which lasted about three minutes, was shown in court a number of times.
Advocate Yates explained that it was not easy to determine how the fight started.’It was at closing time that a verbal altercation occurred between various members of two groups.
The argument escalated resulting in Brown, who himself had not been initially involved, being chased by several people across La Route de la Libération.’Shortly after this, a large number of people began fighting on the eastbound carriageway,’ he said.
He said that all were jointly charged with affray and moved for a 15-month sentence for Brown, 12 months for Burrell, six months both for Pankhurst and MacKinnon and a £750 fine for Murray.Advocate James Bell, representing Burrell, said there was a very firm recommendation in the social inquiry report that all of the defendants should not be sentenced to custodial sentences.
Burrell went to help Pankhurst but had admitted getting involved in the fight, he added.Advocate Sue Pearmain, defending Brown, said her client did not start the fight and was ultimately thrust into the battle.
‘He walked off and was chased before being brought down in a hedge.
He was acting under the emotion of the moment and sincerely regrets his actions.’Advocate David Hopwood, representing MacKinnon, said his client had been through an eight-month ordeal waiting for the matter to come to court and would not commit an offence like it again.
He said MacKinnon tried three rescue attempts to stop Murray and Brown from fighting before being attacked himself.
‘My client deserves a fine for his involvement in the affray but not a custodial sentence.
He is bitterly remorseful.’Advocate Fraser Robertson, defending Pankhurst, said it was a sad and unfortunate case and his client had acted totally out of character by getting mixed up in the fight.
He said Pankhurst had an exemplary character and was at very low risk of reoffending, according to the social inquiry report.Advocate Julian Gollop, representing Murray, said his client fully accepted the facts and his only involvement was to throw a missed punch.
He added that his client had already suffered because he was not granted a visa to the US to coach football – something he had been planning for years.Delivering the court’s sentence, the Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache, who was sitting with Jurats Le Brocq and Georgelin, said to Burrell: ‘You were one of the most deeply involved in the fighting and you attacked an innocent bystander who was trying to stop the fighting.’ He was jailed for six months.Brown, who was jailed for nine months, was told that he should have walked away after initially becoming the victim.
‘But after getting up you jumped in and headbutted another.
You should have walked away,’ said the Bailiff.MacKinnon and Pankhurst, who were both fined £2,000, were told that they were involved to a lesser extent but both had admitted their involvement in the incident.
Murray, the youngest of the crowd, was fined £500 and told that his involvement, age, good character and references allowed the court to reduce the fine requested by the Crown.