‘Too many street fights in Harrogate’ - magistrate

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

PUNCH-UPS on the streets of Harrogate were becoming far too prevalent, the town’s magistrates declared last Thursday.

The comment came at the end of a case in which Alexander Neil Baldwin, 21, pleaded guilty to using behaviour towards Elliott Evans which was threatening, abusive or insulting and which provoked a fear of violence being used.

And the court heard that Evans had been charged with a similar offence arising out of incident which occurred when the two men were ejected from the Moko Lounge in King’s Road in the early hours of February 12.

Prosecutor Sandra White said while Baldwin, of Scriftain Lane, Kirk Deighton, had been arrested at the scene, Evans had only been detained after CCTV evidence had been considered. He was not due before the court until April 16.

Mrs White said after the two men had had an altercation in the nightclub they were ejected at 3am. But outside they indulged in a scuffle after Evans threw a punch at Baldwin before beginning to walk backwards from the scene.

Baldwin had pursued him and thrown ‘‘a haymaker-type punch’’ towards him, which he avoided. Baldwin had then stumbled to the floor where he was struck by Evans who then attempted to tackle his opponent, missed and fell to the ground himself.

The court heard Baldwin had only one previous conviction, but for a similar offence in 2008 when he had been made subject to a youth court referral order.

In mitigation Steven Culleton said Baldwin had not actually landed a blow on his opponent in an incident which had begun in the bar and which resulted in both protagonists being thrown out.

Baldwin had felt aggrieved at this treatment and decided to take matters further verbally.

He had run up to Evans who had misunderstood his intentions and punched him in the face. And when Baldwin chased after him, Evans stepped out of his way like a bullfighter before holding him in a headlock and punching him.

Mr Culleton said Baldwin, who was embarrassed and ashamed, fully understood that his behaviour, after having too much to drink, was unacceptable. ‘‘It would seem a case of drink in, commonsense out,’’ he said.

Ordering a fine of £170 with £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge, presiding magistrate Lindsay Addyman told Baldwin: ‘‘There is far too much of this kind of thing happening in Harrogate these days. But you have recognised how foolish it was and we give you credit for that.’’