A GANG of men who armed themselves with weapons, sparking a brawl which led to the fatal stabbing of a Rotherham dad, have walked free from court.
Karl Matthew Hague, Andrew John Rawcliffe, Christopher Jones and Michael Grandorge - along with Hague’s father Justin, barged into Bradley Fieldhouse’s home on December 3 when a family feud spiralled out of control, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Sarah Wright, prosecuting, said they went to Mr Fieldhouse’s home in Brinsworth to settle a score after Jones’s car window was smashed.
The front door in Godric Drive was forced off its hinges and windows were smashed, causing more than £2,000 worth of damage.
Mr Hague, aged 40, was stabbed in the melee.
He was taken to Rotherham Hospital but died the same night.
No one has ever been charged with his murder.
Miss Wright said CCTV footage showed Hague arming himself with a baseball bat while the others broke up a For Sale sign and brandished pieces of wood.
She said: “Mr Fieldhouse’s stepfather threw a boiling pan of water from his home to try to stop them from getting in.”
All four defence barristers said their clients, who admitted violent disorder, regretted their actions.
Amanda Denton, defending Hague, said he was unable to attend his father’s funeral because he was in custody.
She said: “He acknowledges his involvement in the incident which led to his father being stabbed.”
Hague, 20, now of Thornes Road, Wakefield, was given 12 months suspended for two years; Jones, 23, now of Westfield Street, Wakefield, and Rawcliffe, 19, from Treeton Crescent, Treeton, were given nine months, suspended for two years. Grandorge, 17, of Wood Lane, Treeton, was given a 12-month community order and a curfew.
Judge Roger Keen QC said: “The courts take a very dim view of people taking the law into their own hands because it sometimes means people can get seriously injured. This is a classic example. Had you not gone seeking revenge someone would now be alive.
“That knowledge has had a profound and life-changing effect on all four of you and because of that I can take a more lenient view.”