Children hide in fear as glasses and furniture hurled during restaurant fight
Children were forced to hide in fear as glasses and furniture were hurled during a violent restaurant fight.
Pint glasses were thrown around Miyagi, in Ormskirk, West Lancashire, with one person involved being left unconscious after reportedly being stamped in the head.
The brawl reportedly involved five men, including four from the same family.
It is understood to have started inside the Japanese restaurant and saw tables and chairs clattered across the room before two of the louts spilled onto Derby Street.
Inside, others continued throwing punches even as police officers tried to physically pull them apart.
Almost two years on from the incident, which happened in February 2019, four men were today sentenced for their roles in the “shameful” and “terrifying” incident.
Martin Doherty, 40, his son Barney Doherty, 23, both of Thorndale, Skelmersdale, along with Simon Doherty, 47 and his son, Barney Doherty, 25, both of High Street, Skelmersdale, all admitted a charge of affray and were sentenced together at Preston Crown Court.
A fifth man, Christy McGinley, landed the stamp on the younger Barney’s head and was also arrested after the fight.
However, he failed to show at the first court hearing in December 2019 and remains wanted by police.
Prosecuting, Gwen Henshaw said: “Around about 6.25 in the evening, the incident occurred inside and outside Miyagi on Derby Street and involved many members of the public as bystanders who were on nights out.
“Police officers were driving down and flagged down by a member of the public.”
By this point, Ms Henshaw explained, one of the men was standing in the street topless while screaming could be heard coming from inside the restaurant.
One witness told police, “they’re killing each other in there”.
Ms Henshaw said the fight involved “not only stamping, but also stamping on each other and throwing pint glass at each other”.
The violent scenes saw officers request back up and the Dohertys continued fighting each other even as police tried to pull them apart.
During the brawl, the younger Barney Doherty was knocked over and “kicked to the head by Christy McGinley”. Backup then arrived as the unconscious offender was being attended to.
A “large, topless man with dark hair” was arrested and originally identified himself as McGinley, but at Skelmersdale Police Station was found to actually be the elder Barney Doherty.
The actual McGinley was found soon after taken to a police station in a drunken state. Martin Doherty fell to the ground after police used PAVA spray, similar to pepper spray and Simon Doherty had left the area but was spotted on CCTV at Ormskirk train station and soon arrested as well.
CCTV footage played in court showed the chaos inside the restaurant as the family engaged in a prolonged and drawn out fight, resisting the efforts of police and continuing even as they pushed tables and chairs into a woman guarding two small children.
A different member of the public was knocked to the ground as the melee spread throughout the building.
Another camera showed topless Simon Doherty standing outside and walking into the street as a man in black appeared to repeatedly ask him to leave.
In a statement read out by Ms Henshaw, staff member Warwick Rogan described the group as “drinking heavily but initially being quite content when asked to move from the table but becoming quite aggressive.
“The level of violence was scary to witness,” the statement continued. “The whole situation was very shocking and intimidating.”
Sentencing, Judge Philip Parry said he would hand all four men the same punishment and accepted their mitigation that he believed all four were remorseful and had offered apologies to the restaurant staff and public.
He also referenced a letter from the men’s parish priests, who both spoke highly of the family.
But Judge Parry said the offence was aggravated by its sustained nature, the use of glasses as weapons, their drunken states and the presence of children.
Three of the defendants had previous convictions for disorder but Jon Close, representing Simon Doherty, asked the judge to consider that his client’s relevant convictions had been wiped from his record.
Handing all four men a 16 month sentence suspended for 18 months, Judge Parry said: “It was shameful and it was terrifying for those caught up in it.
“The defendants should all hang their heads in shame that all of this was in front of children and others who were terrified by what happened.”