A man from Henfield has been found not guilty of violent disorder after a violent brawl in Brighton two years ago.
Richard Walker, 47, of Hillside Lane, was cleared of charges relating to a fight which broke out after the March for England and counter protest in the city in April 2014.
Seven people were found guilty of violent disorder following the fight, while another six alongside Mr Walker were found not guilty.
The charges relate to an incident shortly after 2pm on Sunday, April 27, 2014 when a number of people were involved in a fight which descended into serious disorder outside The Dorset pub and Infinity Foods at the junction of North Street and Gardner Street.
The fight is believed to have been between two groups of people connected with the march and counter protest which had taken place on the seafront earlier on in the day.
Today (Saturday, April 23) it was revealed by Sussex Police that of the seven people found guilty of violent disorder, six were handed a two-year suspended sentence and one person was given a one-year suspended sentence.
Detective Superintendent Carwyn Hughes said: “This was terrifying for those people in the area and we ensured the resources necessary to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
“We will always prosecute where protests become an excuse for a fight. We are there to facilitate peaceful protest and will not tolerate this sort of behaviour.
“This fight took place in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon in a busy shopping area of Brighton.
“Their behaviour and conduct, with chairs, tables and glasses thrown across the road, was completely unacceptable.
“Thankfully no-one was hurt but we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour anywhere in Sussex.
“We had a bespoke team of six officers working over three months with the audio visual unit to study CCTV and identify those involved. Investigating officers travelled up and down the country seeking leads and making arrests and two years on we could bring this case to trial.”
A group of 14 people appeared at Hove Crown Court in two trials charged with violent disorder. On Wednesday, February 17, six of them were found guilty and on Tuesday, March 21 one more person was found guilty.
The investigation since April 27, 2014 has cost thousands of pounds.
The seven people found guilty and sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence were:
- Craig Wells, 34, of Connell Drive, Brighton,
- Alan Titterton, 50, of Wordsworth Avenue, Sheffield,
- Lorna Marcham, 31, of Norwich Drive, Brighton,
- Andrew Gill, 42, of Sixhills Street, Grimsby,
- Graham Clark, 52, of Belgrave Road, Margate, Kent
- Scott Banks, 21, of Acacia Road, Doncaster
Tracey Parsons, 50, of David Stoddart Gardens, Swindon was given a one-year suspended sentence.
Seven people were also found not guilty of charges. They were:
Gavin Pidwell, 30, of Glynde, Lewes,
Michael Woodhouse, 49, of Baden Road, Brighton,
Jack Woodhouse, 19, of Baden Road, Brighton,
Gareth Cooper, 34, of Burton Avenue, Doncaster,
Richard Walker, 47, of Hillside Lane, Henfield,
Ian Crossland, 42, of Hollinsend Road, Sheffield
Stephen Caudwell of Angleton Close, Sheffield.
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