Judge condemns drunken fights in Sheffield

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A judge has condemned drunken late-night violence in Sheffield after a man was seriously injured in an attack.

Judge Simon Lawler QC said the public were ‘fed up’ of assaults committed on nights out – as he sentenced two men for leaving their victim unconscious.

Nana Mensa was attacked outside a takeaway on Division Street in the city centre..

Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said Joseph Matthews, aged 22, and 25-year-old Jamie Neill became involved in a fracas as Mr Mensa and his brother Kofi were leaving the takeaway with friends and trying to hold each other to stay upright in icy conditions.

Matthews and Neill threw punches at the pair and a scuffle broke out.

Matthews struck Mr Mensa twice in the face knocking him to the ground and then delivered a further blow to his face.

Neill tried to pull Matthews away, but became involved in the violence.

Judge Lawler said: “This is another case before this court of drunken street violence and the public are fed up.”

Matthews, of Whinney Hill, Thrybergh, Rotherham, and Neill, of Sheffield Road, Woodhouse Mill, Sheffield, both admitted affray. Matthews also admitted causing grievous bodily harm.

Judge Lawler said Mr Mensa’s injuries could have proved fatal.

Sentencing, he told Neill and Matthews, “It may well be others should be before the court, but the evidence particularly points to you.

“No court wants to send young men who have shown themselves to be responsible members of society immediately to prison.

“The balance on this occasion has come down in your favour, just.”

Matthews was given an 18-month jail term suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid community work and ordered to pay his victim £1,000 compensation.

Neill was given a 10-month jail term, suspended for two years, 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £250 compensation to another man who was injured.