Pair jailed after 'Wild West' brawl in Harrogate bar resulted in victim suffering a stroke

Two men have been jailed following scenes of ‘absolute bedlam’ inside a Harrogate bar where violence flared on the dancefloor and one man ended up in hospital with a bleed on the brain which led to a stroke.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 2:34 pm
Jailed pair Ryan David O'Hanlan, left, and Christopher Paul Jackson, right, were involved in a mass brawl at the former Harrogate bar The Pit.

Harrogate dealer jailed for two years after police find town centre ‘drug den’In scenes reminiscent of a punch-up in a Wild West saloon, pint glasses whistled threw the air and fists were flying as the brawl, involving “lots of people”, quickly got out of control, York Crown Court heard.

Violence flared when 26-year-old Ryan O’Hanlan - the instigator of the violence - took umbrage because an “obviously-drunk” man was “making a spectacle of himself” on the dancefloor at The Pit Bar in Harrogate, said prosecutor Matthew Collins.

O’Hanlan poured a drink over him, prompting the named man to retaliate.

The former Harrogate bar The Pit was the scene for the brawl.

As violence broke out, door staff intervened, but O’Hanlan crept up behind the victim and punched him in the back of the head with such force the victim was knocked straight to the floor, unconscious.

Here are the key congestion-busting proposals put forward for Harrogate...and what they will mean for driversO’Hanlan then delivered another blow while the victim - who was also punched by others - was lying helpless.

O’Hanlon’s friend Christopher Jackson, 29, joined in the “huge melee”, throwing two punches. Their friend Jake Masters, 24, also waded into the brawl with “punches and pushes” before being ejected from the bar.

Kingsley Mitchell, 28, who was also part of the group, threw two glasses from one side of the bar to the other, one of which hit a nightclubber.

The man who had been knocked unconscious was taken to Leeds General Infirmary with a serious head injury.

“He was bleeding and vomiting and (there was) a loss of consciousness,” said Mr Collins. CT scans revealed a haemorrhage which caused a stroke and could easily have been fatal, he added.

The victim was kept under observation for 24 hours by a neurosurgeon but pulled through and was eventually discharged. Mr Collins said the bleed in the back of the skull had been caused by the blow struck by O’Hanlan.

Six arrested as police board buses and trains in county-lines drug-dealing crackdownThe four defendants were arrested and charged with affray following the incident at about 12.30am on October 21 last year. They appeared for sentence on Friday, October 11 after all pleaded guilty to the charge.

O’Hanlan, of Greenfield Avenue, Shipley, near Bradford, also admitted causing grievous bodily harm.

Mitchell, of Thirlmere Grove, Baildon, near Bradford, also admitted an additional charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to a separate incident in the street after the horrific scenes in the bar.

Mitchell admitted ABH on a basis that the prosecution didn’t accept. He now faces a Newton hearing, or trial of issue, on the additional charge in December.

The court heard that Mitchell had four previous convictions for offences including GBH and battery.

Shocking footage of man driving dangerously on the A59 which links Harrogate to York has been releasedJackson, of Grange Road, Bingley, had eight previous convictions for offences including a robbery and ABH for which he and O’Hanlan received long jail sentences in 2012. O’Hanlan had a “history of robberies and violence”, said Mr Collins.

Masters - a military man based at Catterick Garrison near Richmond - was the only one in the group with a hitherto clean slate.

Jayne Beckett, for Jackson, said the father-of-one, who works as a self-employed civil engineer, had left his former employer, a groundworks company, following his arrest because he “didn’t want to bring shame upon them”.

Susannah Proctor, for Masters, said her client had served his country in Afghanistan. His behavior was “out of character” and he also faced being disciplined by the army for the drink-fuelled incident.

O’Hanlan’s defence counsel said he too had a “responsible” job and was “extremely ashamed”.

Judge Sean Morris described the incident as “an appalling piece of behavior”.

He told the defendants: “Innocent members of the public were enjoying their evening and you behaved like thugs.”

Woman robbed and dragged down an alley in Knaresborough - police appeal for informationHe branded O’Hanlan’s behavior “cowardly” and told him he was “fortunate” not to have killed the man, adding: “You are a powerfully-built man and you know how to throw your weight around.”

O’Hanlan was jailed for 20 months. Jackson was jailed for 16 months, but Masters was given a two-year community order because of his lack of previous convictions and the fact he had served his country for the past eight years.

Mr Morris said he had also noted that Masters had been “the least involved” in the violence and a jail sentence would have put paid to his military career. Masters was also ordered to carry out 300 hours’ unpaid work.

Mitchell will be sentenced on December 5 following his trial-of-issue on the ABH matter.