Jailed: Goodwood brawlers given prison sentences totalling nine years
The 11 men who were charged after a mass brawl at Goodwood last year have been handed jail sentences totalling more than nine years after the final hearings were completed on Tuesday.
In addition, the convicted men will be indefinitely excluded from all British racecourses following the shocking events at the Sussex course in May last year.
In one of the worst examples of public disorder on a racecourse, around 50 people were involved in multiple altercations. Some of the appalling violence was captured on video and went viral on social media.
Sussex Police made a dozen arrests in relation to the brawl, with 11 people charged. While nine of the defendants pleaded guilty to violent disorder at an earlier hearing, Lesley Sharp, 50, pleaded guilty to assault by beating and Kyle Binns, 27, pleaded guilty to affray on Tuesday at Guildford Crown Court.
James Whitlock, 27, received the most severe sentence of 24 months' imprisonment.
Nine of the 11 men received prison terms, although their sentences will be reduced as they have already served time under a tagged curfew order.
One of the men, Darius Wharton, 19, was handed a suspended sentence, while Sharp was given the option of paying a fine or spending time in prison and has been ordered to pay compensation to his victim.
The eruption of violence at Goodwood is rare on racecourses and the track's managing director Adam Waterworth was pleased that justice had been served on those involved.
He said: "We are delighted that the evidence we provided has helped secure an appropriately serious sentence for the perpetrators of this incident. We take a zero-tolerance stance on anti-social behaviour here at Goodwood and, to support this, we installed an extensive CCTV network across the course a few years ago, which helped us provide clear footage to Sussex Police of the incident.
"This sends out a strong message to the public – anti-social behaviour is not welcome at Goodwood, and we will continue to be vigilant so racegoers can enjoy the best possible experience when they come racing with us."
The Racecourse Association echoed Waterworth's view and a spokesman said: "The RCA condemns in the strongest terms anti-social behaviour, which has no place in society, let alone on a racecourse. We will continue to work with racecourses and appropriate third parties to ensure such behaviour remains an extremely rare occurrence."
All licensed BHA premises, including training yards, will be off limits to the 11 individuals and the BHA's head of integrity Chris Watts said: "A day at the races is a fun, safe and relaxing day out that is suitable for all the family. The sport will not tolerate any incidents of serious anti-social behaviour and, in this case, gratuitous violence.
"On the very rare occasions when it does occur we will work collaboratively with the police and the racecourses to ensure the appropriate action is taken against the individuals involved."
The defendants who pleaded guilty to violent disorder were James Whitlock, 27, who was jailed for 24 months; Tyrone Sharp, 28, jailed for 20 months; David Salway, 29, jailed for 16 months; Jack Couper, 23, jailed for eight months; Peris Dore, 28, jailed for eight months; Michael Hand, 33, jailed for eight months; Michael Suffield, 30, jailed for eight months; Jack McLoughlin, 24, jailed for eight months; and Darius Wharton, 19, who was given six months, suspended for a year.
Lesley Sharp, 50, who pleaded guilty to assault by beating and not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, was ordered to pay a fine of £500 and compensation to the victim. Kyle Binns, 27, who pleaded guilty to affray and not guilty to violent disorder, was jailed for four months.
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