Rival gangs clash at Preston house party

Three men have appeared in court after rival gangs clashed at a house party in Preston.

Thursday, 28th April 2016, 11:19 am
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2016, 12:29 pm
Rival groups at the house party in Preston

Missiles were thrown and one man brandished a golf club when youths from Ashton and Callon came face-to-face outside the house in Roebuck Street last August.

Preston Crown Court heard how a small, impromptu gathering at the terraced house swelled as word spread a party was underway.

Friends and friends-of-friends turned up to the terraced house, including a number of ‘Ashton Lads’, who were drinking and socialising at the gathering, jurors heard.

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But at 2.30am around 20 youths from the Callon estate arrived in taxis and tried to gain entry to the party.

The court heard there was animosity between the two groups and they were refused entry. CCTV taken from nearby properties showed Dillon Moffatt, 19, from the Ashton group, climb onto the garden wall, brandishing a golf club at the gatecrashers.

He then came down and threw an object over the wall, to where the other men were.

Donald Webb, 19, who had arrived with the Callon group, took off his jacket and picked up the golf club. He was shown running from the front to the back of the house trying to gain access. Jake Johnston, 20, who also arrived with the Callon boys threw a bottle as the groups of men shouted and made threats to each other.

All three were arrested - along with two other youths - and were charged with affray. A teenager has since been sentenced in the youth court and another man is awaiting court action for other matters.

Johnston, of Dorothy Avenue, Leyland, Webb, of Nevett Street, Callon and Moffatt, of Howarth Road, Ashton, pleaded guilty to affray.

Judge Stuart Baker, sentencing, said: “You are all under 21 and you all took part in one way or another in a very unpleasant and unseemly disturbance in the early hours of August 15.

“You had all, to a greater or lesser extent, been drinking alcohol and clearly you weren’t only on different sides of the people present but on different sides of the wall and were clearly opposing factions. This incident involved threatened violence. It is quite clear from the CCTV footage that even if the two of you who came from Callon didn’t personally go with the intention of causing trouble, the fact so many people went uninvited, late at night, many with their hoods up as they were marching along the road, indicates to me that at least among some people there was some intention to make trouble.

“I am not going to lay that at your door and say you intended to cause a violent disturbance but when it started, all three of you played your part. It is fortunate nobody was injured.”

He sentenced Moffatt and Johnston to four months in a young offenders institution suspended for two years each and ordered them to undergo 25 days rehabilitation and a four month curfew.

Webb was handed a two year community order and 100 hours of unpaid work.