Four men have been jailed for their involvement in a violent brawl that started in a Sheffield nightclub, and resulted in four people being stabbed in an 'unprovoked' attack.
Leyton Orr, Negus Nelson, Roemol Taylor and Torrington Smith were all jailed during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court today (Tuesday, August 21) after admitting a charge of violent disorder over their involvement in the fight that broke out in the Niche nightclub in the Wicker on December 23 last year.
The fifth defendant in the case, Junior Nieta, 34, of Carwood Road, Burngreave was given a suspended sentence after Recorder Bernard Gateshill accepted his assertion that after initially lashing out at a man in the club, he subsequently attempted to defuse the situation outside by acting as a 'peace maker'.
The court heard how four men from Barnsley, including a father and son, were stabbed in the attack, with one member of the group suffering six knife wounds. Another of the men was stabbed in the stomach, while a third man suffered a stab wound to his thigh and a broken ankle.
Recorder Gateshill said he regarded the attack as completely unprovoked, and none of the victims are thought to have interacted with any of the defendants inside Niche.
Prosecutor, Michael Greenhalgh, told the court that the violence started in Niche just after 4.30am, before 'carrying on outside' with all four victims being stabbed a short distance away from the club.
"There are no complainants from inside the club," he added.
Taylor, Orr and Nelson were involved in violence outside the club, while Nieta and Smith's involvement was limited to disorder inside Niche.
Mr Greenhalgh said the Crown was not able to prove who was carrying the knife, or who inflicted the stab wounds, resulting in the defendants being charged with violent disorder.
He added that a number of individuals, who have never been identified, were also involved in the brawl.
Recorder Gateshill told the men that should they have been able to identify an individual as being responsible for the 'serious' stab wounds, that person could have been looking at a sentence of up to 10 years, adding that the sentence of violence disorder carries a maximum sentence of five years.
The 20-year-old was seen inflicting violence, both inside and outside Niche. He can be seen punching people in both instances on CCTV shown to the court.
Defending, Nawaz Hussain QC, accepted it was a 'troubling offence' and told the court that Taylor, of Carwood Green, Burngreave became violent after his girlfriend was struck on the head with a bottle.
"He wasn't there for a fight, he was there for a rare night out with his partner. It was seeing her being struck and injured that caused him to lose all sense of self-control," said Mr Hussain.
CCTV captured Smith, 29, kicking and stamping on a man on the floor of the club, while he was topless and wearing a Santa hat, before punching a second man.
Defending Smith, Sean Sullivan, told the court there was 'no evidence' to suggest he was involved in any of the violence outside of the club.
Smith, of St Mary's Walk, Lowfield was sentenced for a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, after he broke a man's nose with a single punch in another unprovoked attack at the Corporation nightclub in Milton Street on April 24 last year.
The court heard how Nelson, of Carwood Road, Burngreave, was involved with the violence outside of the club, and CCTV showed him punching members of the group of victims, after becoming involved towards the end of the attack.
Matthew Buckland said in mitigation: "He was struck and then punches were thrown. He's part of the scene that left one of the victims on the floor."
He added that Nelson, 29, has 'poor eyesight' and only became involved after appearing to see members of the group surround Taylor.
His involvement in the brawl began after leaving the club, going back to his car and 'driving around the block'. After parking his car a short distance away, Orr, 26, is then seen to walk to the scene of the disorder, before lashing out with punches.
Robert Smith, defending, said Orr was assaulted while upstairs at Niche and 'struck two blows' after seeing Taylor become involved in a confrontation.
Nieta's involvement in the disorder was limited to kicking a man as he was being taken out of Niche, the court heard.
"It was the defendant's mistaken belief that the man being taken out of the club had taken his pendant," said Felicity Henlin, defending.
She added: "When he gets out of the club he turns peace maker."
'Each of the defendants played a part'
Recorder Gateshill told the men: "Clearly, the actions of each of the defendants must be considered, but I must have regard for the overall picture of what occurred."
He added: "Each of the defendants played a part in what was violent disorder that led to the infliction of serious injuries."
- Leyton Orr: 16 months
- Negus Nelson: 16 months
- Roemol Taylor: 30 months
- Torrington Smith: 23 months
- Junior Nieta: 16 months, suspended for two years; a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 150 hours of unpaid work.