Stag party men deny Newbury Racecourse fight charges

Newbury racecourse The court heard the fight at Newbury Racecourse lasted up to 15 minutes

Four men who were on a stag outing have denied being involved in a fight between football fans at a racecourse.

The jury at Reading Crown Court saw footage of a brawl on 14 July last year in which Cardiff City and Swansea City supporters clashed at Newbury races.

Wales international Leigh Halfpenny was in the rugby club stag party, but was not involved in the disorder the court was told.

At the time, police said up to 60 people were involved in the fight.

The British and Irish Lions full-back was among 50 people in the stag group. Many of them were members of Gorseinon Rugby Club, near Llanelli.

Robert Jenkins, 32, of Heathfield, Gorseinon; Ryan Thomas, 29, Brynffynon Road, Gorseinon; Joshua Davies, 24, of Priors Way, Dunvant; and David Jenkins, 32, of Gryn Rhos, Llanelli; all deny charges of affray.

'Organised fight'

One member of the stag party, off-duty police officer Gareth Starr, described the fight as "one of the most violent things he had ever seen".

Mr Starr, a detective constable with the Metropolitan Police, told the court: "What stood this incident apart from other violent episodes I have witnessed, is that it lasted so long.

"It went on for between 10 to 15 minutes, resulting in a number of people being knocked unconscious."

Mr Starr said the groom's father was one of those badly injured.

He also told the jury he recalled the words Soul Crew being chanted by a group of men towards the end of the fighting.

He explained from his time policing football matches, the words were a reference to a hooligan element of Cardiff City supporters.

"I understand this organised fight was due to happen the day before, but due to weather cancelling another race meeting, it happened at Newbury on that Saturday," said Mr Starr.

The fight was caught on Channel 4 Racing's live coverage of the meeting, footage of which was shown repeatedly to the jury.

The trial continues.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Berkshire

Weather

Reading

Min. Night 6 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage


  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world


  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop


  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Woman standingMysterious miracle

    It's extremely unusual and shouldn't give false hope, but what makes the body beat cancer on its own?

Programmes

  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach - why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.