Two men appear in court over Preston pub brawl

James Alston Jnr

James Alston Jnr

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Two men involved in a pub fracas which left a man with a fractured skull have appeared in court.

Former boxer James Alston, 48, had been trying to stop a fight involving his co-defendant Dominic Saul but was then seen kicking the victim, Preston’s Sessions House Court heard.

Victim Stephen Dalton and an unknown man in a beanie hat, had been drinking since 4pm and were behaving in a “provocative” manner in the New Britannia on Heatley Street, prosecutor Jon Close said.

Father-of-one Saul, 29, who was stood with Alston, eventually put his drink down and struck the victim’s companion at around 8.20pm on March 7 last year.

A brawl then broke out.

Alston, of Westleigh Road, Ashton, must do 120 hours unpaid work and Saul, of Churchill Road, Preston, received eight months suspended for 24 months, after they admitted affray.

Mr Close said: “While Dalton is on the ground, Mr Alston is striking towards him on the floor, it would appear on one occasion with his foot.”

The fight was broken up and the victim was seen outside with a bleeding head injury by a police officer.

Defending Saul, Dave Ryan said: “The man in the beanie hat had been aggressive and had been irritating. He explains he felt intimidated and uncomfortable.

“It was totally out of character for this young man who has no previous convictions.”

Recorder Mark Laprell accepted the unknown man had behaved “irritatingly”, but added: “Even if they are aggressive you clearly have three choices - to ignore them, to walk away, and the third is to react. You chose to react and it was an ill judged decision.”