Two men spared jail following pre-arranged TikTok fight in Ripon

Two men who staged a fight in a layby for TikTok viewers have been spared prison despite one of them brandishing a machete in front of onlookers.
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William Fuller-McMillan and Rivers Wilson, both 22, were armed with weapons when they turned up for the pre-arranged fight near Ripon Racecourse, York Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Lewis Kerr said it appeared the fight had been arranged between Wilson and another named man following an “issue” with a young woman.

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The fight was set for a layby on Boroughbridge Road, Ripon, on December 17, 2021, when people turned up in several cars “armed with weapons” in the dark hours to witness the shocking scenes.

York Crown CourtYork Crown Court
York Crown Court

Mr Kerr said that videos of the fight were circulated on the internet as it was happening, and witnesses called police.

Onlookers who witnessed the “prolonged” dust-up said it was initially a “fair fight, one-on-one”, between Wilson and his rival, with punches being thrown by each man.

But then Wilson “took the upper hand, kicking (the other man) several times” and there was kneeing during the fight, along with “grappling and grabbing”, causing injuries ostensibly to both men.

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The court heard that at some points during the skirmishing, someone drove a dark Mercedes at people at the scene.

Mr Kerr said that by the time the fight ended, Wilson appeared to be holding a baseball bat, although he was never charged with this.

Fuller-McMillan then brandished a machete and threatened another man with the weapon.

Mr Kerr said although the knife wasn’t actually used, there was the “potential for serious disorder”.

He said the entire incident was a “staged fight on TikTok”.

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Wilson, of Princess Close, Ripon, was arrested and initially charged with affray.

He denied the allegation and was due to face trial on Tuesday, January 3, but admitted an alternative charge under the Public Order Act before a jury was sworn in.

Fuller-McMillan, of Stockwell Drive, Knaresborough, admitted using a bladed article to threaten.

The two men appeared for sentence on Wednesday.

The court heard that Fuller-McMillan had a previous conviction for threatening to damage property.

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He was convicted of that offence in June last year and received a community order.

Wilson had four previous convictions for 12 offences, the last of which in 2019 resulted in a 22-month jail sentence in February 2020.

Barrister Patrick Palmer, for Wilson, said his client earned good money in construction and had stayed out of trouble since the incident in Ripon.

Nicholas Hammond, for Fuller-McMillan, said his client had moved away from Ripon following the incident and had since set up home with his partner and worked full time as a joiner.

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He said Fuller-McMillan was at the scene to support his friend Wilson and his actions were down to a “lack of maturity”.

Judge Simon Hickey described the staged fight in Ripon as a “disgraceful incident”.

He told the defendants: “In the darkness, you all decided you were going to have a fight.

"You all attended in several motor cars armed with weapons.

“Any member of the public going past would have been very upset and perturbed by what then occurred.”

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Fuller-McMillan was given a 22-month prison sentence, but this was suspended for 18 months because of his “impressive” character references and the fact that he had stayed out of trouble since the incident.

As part of the order, he must complete 150 hours’ unpaid work.

The judge told Wilson that although he had been involved in a “nasty piece of violence”, he was “impressed that you and your co-accused are both working and keeping out of trouble”.

Wilson was fined £500 for the public-order offence and ordered to pay a statutory surcharge.

Both men were ordered to pay £185 prosecution costs.