Man threw a punch at club

Burnley Crown Court
Burnley Crown Court
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A clubgoer who punched a rival when a large brawl broke out at a lapdancing venue has walked free from court.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Shaun Ibbott, 20, had taken part in some scuffling when fighting started between two groups at Eden 2 in Blackpool on October 27 last year.

The court heard Ibbott didn’t start the violence, involving between 10 and 15 men and captured on CCTV, but joined in, before it was all quickly stopped by bouncers.

Ibbott, of Kent Street, Deepdale, Preston, had earlier admitted affray.

The defendant, who had no previous convictions, was given a community order with 24 hours at an attendance centre in Preston.

Three other men have already appeared before Preston Crown Court over the melee and were jailed for between eight and 10 months each.

Prosecuting, Paul Brookwell said there was a fight between two groups of people in the lap dancing club.

One group of men were casually dressed and the others were smartly dressed, in shirts, ties and waistcoats. The defendant was part of a group who had gone there from Preston for a night out.

Mr Brookwell said the main incident occurred in the bar area, where at first the groups were talking to each other and there was no sense of anything going wrong. But it appeared words were exchanged between the two parties, the atmosphere changed and the manageress asked a doorman to speak to them. He did so and shortly afterwards there was some pushing and punches were exchanged.

Ibbott was not involved in any initial pushing and punches being thrown. Mr Brookwell said: ”He didn’t start the violence himself. He became involved with another unknown man and threw a punch which hit this other man on the top of the head. The whole incident really takes minutes.

“This defendant left the premises, unlike other defendants, who kept trying to return. One of the cameras filmed them coming backward and forwards and being ejected by the door staff. The defendant wasn’t one of those people.”

The prosecutor said when Ibbott was interviewed, he admitted he was present. He gave a prepared statement, in which he said he was assaulted and he was trying to defend himself. The others who appeared in court had had previous convictions.

Tom Lord, defending, asked the judge not to send Ibbott to prison, because of his lack of previous convictions, his age and his immaturity.

Judge Andrew Woolman told Ibbott: “Your role in the offence, I am sure, is less than the others and in addition to that you are only 20 and you have never been in trouble.”