How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70200
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

i was involved in a mass fight in a pub prior to a football

Customer Question

i was involved in a mass fight in a pub prior to a football match. I was captured on cctv throwing 2 chairs. I have been charged wih affray even though I did no start the fracas and I was just defending myself. I got my arm broke at this incident so where do I stand legally and if I am found guilty what sentence might I expect. I have never been in trouble with the police before, I am 56 year old and work as a manager in Royal Mail
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
If you are convicted of affray then it isn't particularly good news. If the pub had connections to a football match then they will probably pursue affray as they are always concerned about football violence.
There are no sentencing guidelines but the leading case is R v Fox and Hicks [2006] 1 Cr. App. R. (S) 17 CA. That case did involve an actual football match where opposing fans thew debris at each other and there was a belated guilty plea from a man with no previous matters. He received 8 months custody.
Obviously the case of Fox and Hicks was dealing with more instant football violence. The case is also authority for the principle that although what an individual had himself done was relevant as it was simply part of the whole to which he was contributing.
Throwing two chairs is likely to be considered throwing debris I'm afraid. Pub chairs are heavy items.
You may be lucky and receive a suspended sentence.
It might be that they will take a plea to S4 public order and then you would definitely avoid custody. If this hadn't been a football match they probably would have charged it as S4 right from the outset.
I'm very sorry but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

what about the fact tthat the police let both sets of supporters in the same pub and I did get my arm broken

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That is a non issue. It isn't really very good mitigation to say that some opposing fans were in the same pub. So what ? With rugby they mix up the supporters in the stadium.
The fact of the broken arm is a point that could go either way. It could go to self defence but unfortunately the CCTV captures an aggressive action like throwing chairs which is not usually self defence. If self defence fails then you could advance it as provocation but there was provocation in Fox and Hicks. The truth about football related violence is that there is always provocation. Fans on all sides are as bad as each other and Judges are aware of that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

how would you advise

me to proceed from here

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

how would you advise me to proceed from here

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, at this stage there isn't a great deal that can be done.
It is a case of pleading guilty or not now and I haven't had full vision of this case. On the facts you are describing it is a guilty plea but there may be more to it.
You need to get your solicitor to advise upon pleas as he will have sight of all the information.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

does the fact that 6 of us are all charged together have any bearing on the case?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, only that it really should have been a violent disorder but they have chosen to downgrade the charge to increase the chances of conviction.
But obviously you don't want to suggest they increase the charge to violent disorder.