Early morning brawl gets curfews for teens

tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic1.
tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic1.

AN EARLY morning brawl involving six teenagers and other men brought an unedifying spectacle to the streets of Harrogate, the town’s magistrates were told last Thursday.

The court heard how two 18-year-olds and three youths aged 17, all from Harrogate, had responded to a challenge thrown out by Polish immigrant Mateusz Sadowski, a Harrogate College student and part-time nursing home worker.

Sadowski, 18, of Eleanor Road, Jack Anthony Dobson, 18, of The Avenue, Starbeck, Liam Harry Monaghan, 18, of Dragon Parade and three 17-year-olds who cannot be named for legal reasons all pleaded guilty to a joint charge of affray.

Prosecutor Steven Ovenden told court chairman Teresa Brooke all six defendants straddled the age of 18 but their behaviour at 3am on November 13 had been far from adult. Police had been called to the area of Lower Station Parade and One Arch amid reports from CCTV operators of a fight.

Mr Ovenden said the six defendants had not been the only ones involved in the incident but some protagonists had faced no further action after what had been ‘‘an unedifying spectacle in this town.’’

Sadowski, who had been very drunk, appeared to accept the whole incident had been his fault. ‘‘He was wanting to challenge all-comers, for want of a better description,’’ said Mr Ovenden. ‘‘He certainly met his match as plenty of people seemed to want to take him on.’’

His challenge had led to a brawl with punching and kicking with some kicks aimed at people lying on the ground.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the affray which, said Mr Ovenden, mirrored what Sadowski had told police in interview about starting everything off. Pictures also showed Dobson, a Harrogate High School student and part-time Harrogate Council lifeguard, kicking Sadowski’s brother who had tried to stop his sibling’s actions. Monaghan had kicked both Sadowski brothers.

Mr Ovenden, who said none of the six accused had any criminal conviction, summed up: ‘‘It was not good and perhaps not what the people of Harrogate want to see at three o’clock in the morning.’’

Andrew Tinning, for Sadowski, said he had drunk at home with his brother and at a friend’s house before the pair went into town. He was ashamed of his actions but did not know what had caused them.

In spite of his brother’s efforts to hold him back he engaged in a fight, dancing around and throwing punches before himself receiving a level of violence which led to him being taken to hospital.

Peter Minnikin, for Dobson, said while nasty the incident had been relatively brief. His client had seen a fight taking place and got involved in a moment of madness. He was seeking to study physical education at university in the hope of becoming a teacher. But he may now find it problematic to secure such a post and also stood to lose his part-time council job.

Keith Whitehouse, for Monaghan, an apprentice joiner and former Harrogate High School pupil, said he was utterly ashamed as was his mother, a local hotelier.

He had been to the local rugby club and then met Dobson by chance. He stood with his hands in his pockets through the greater part of the incident, but when Dobson had clothing pulled over his head he had thrown a fairly wild punch. Then further violence had led to him kicking a man on the back of his head.

All three 18-year-olds were ordered to abide by a 7pm to 7am curfew each Friday and Saturday for three months and pay £85 costs. Dobson and Monaghan must also comnplete 100 hours of unpaid work. The three 17-year-old were bailed for sentence in Harrogate Youth Court.