Trio involved in ‘mindless thuggery’ outside Sheffield pub put behind bars

This was mindless was a horrible, disgraceful and despicable incident,” a judge told three men as he jailed them for a brawl outside a Sheffield pub.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 15th April 2019, 6:55 pm

Craig Barnes, George Ryan Eccles and his dad, Simon Eccles, said nothing as they were taken out of Sheffield Crown Court to begin prison sentences of a combined total of nine-and-a-half-years.

This comes after the three men admitted charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm over an incident in the car park at the Thornecliffe Arms, Burncross Road, Chapeltown on the afternoon of March 24 last year.

As he jailed the three men, Judge David Dixon said: “This was mindless was a horrible, disgraceful and despicable incident. It seems to me that the red mist came down over all three of you and you lost control.”

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The fight took place in this car park in March last year. Picture: Google Maps

Sheffield Crown Court heard how violence broke out after Craig, 29, arranged to meet the first complainant at the pub to resolve a dispute over damaged caused to a vehicle belonging to Craig’s girlfriend.

Barnes and the complainant’s meeting went as planned, but the mood changed after George, 33, and Simon, 59, came out of the pub and began verbally abusing the complainant, who had been driven to the pub by the second complainant.

James Baird, prosecuting, said the second complainant ‘feared he would be attacked’ and punched Simon ‘to the face’.

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“At the same time, Craig grabbed the first complainant by the neck, and he’s then punched by both Eccles men. All three men then began to attack the first complainant. The second complainant went to help but he too was then attacked by the three defendants and was kicked and punched while he was on the floor,” said Mr Baird.

The first complainant suffered several injuries in the attack, including fractures to his right eye orbit and his nose, bruising to both sides of his head and swelling behind his right ear.

The second complainant was left with a broken nose, two black eyes and bruising to his scalp.

Judge Dixon said he regarded the fact that a number of children witnessed the attack to be a significant aggravating factor.

“There were four boys on scooters, aged somewhere between 10 and 14-years-old, who watched in disbelief at the violence grown men inflicted on each other in broad daylight. After the violence, a parent had to deal with a severely distressed little girl who had watched you thugs,” he said.

The three men, all of Greenhead Gardens, Chapeltown, entered guilty pleas to the offences at an earlier hearing.

Each of the men have a number of previous convictions, and George has almost completed a 21 sentence for possession of a blade and assaulting a police officer, the court heard.

Mitigating for Craig, Amy Earnshaw said he had shown ‘genuine remorse’ and said he is the breadwinner for his family, who would be significantly affected if he were to be sent to prison.

Richard Adams, defending George, said his client only became involved after seeing his father being attacked, but acknowledged he had subsequently crossed a line with the violence he helped to inflict upon the two complainants.

Rebecca Tanner, representing Simon, said her client suffered from leukemia, and was ‘ordinarily a measured, dependable and hard working man’.

Judge Dixon jailed Craig for 42 months; George for 40 months and Simon for 30 months.

- South Yorkshire Police have been asked to supply custody images of the three defendants