Five people jailed after indiscriminately assaulting strangers in Frodsham
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Five people have been sentenced after indiscriminately assaulting strangers in an incident in Frodsham town centre that left two men with serious facial injuries.
Andrew Price, of Charter Street, Accrington; and Steven Finney, John Gray, John Varey and Margaret Varey, all of Hares Lane, Frodsham; were part of a group of people on a night out drinking when the incident occurred shortly before 12.30am on Sunday 16 June.
It was sparked by a 37-year-old woman from Frodsham asking two members of the group to stop urinating against a wall as she sat on a bench with her partner in Church Street.
One of the group then punched her in the face.
After he had done so, her partner was assaulted as he attempted to defend her.
The 38-year-old man from Frodsham sustained a broken jaw as a result of that assault and the couple then fled towards The Cholmondeley Arms.
Price, 24; Finney, 29; Gray, 30; John Varey, 33, and Margaret Varey, 32; followed them and the group began to randomly assault people outside the pub.
A 26-year-old man from the Northwich area sustained a fractured eye socket as a result of the incident.
He was punched in the side of the face by Price when he was looking in a different direction and was then kicked by Finney whilst he was lying on the floor.
Finney also punched a 38-year-old man from Northwich in the face.
That victim was also punched repeatedly by Gray and John Varey, as well as being hit in the head by Margaret Varey using the stiletto heel on one of her shoes.
Margaret Varey punched a 36-year-old woman from Helsby in the face too, whilst John Varey and Gray punched a 39-year-old man.
Those victims were all bystanders.
The couple who were originally assaulted in Church Street were also attacked outside the pub.
The man was punched in the head by Gray before being kicked there by John Varey as he lay on the ground.
A short time later he was punched and kicked in the head by Finney.
His partner was repeatedly punched by Margaret Varey.
The offenders had fled the scene when police arrived but officers were able to identify – and subsequently secure charges against – them all.
Price pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent in relation to the man who sustained a fractured eye socket.
Finney, Gray, John Varey and Margaret Varey all admitted a charge of affray.
Price pleaded not guilty to affray and Finney denied charges of assault by beating.
It was decided that those charges could lay on file as the group were sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Friday 13 March.
Price was handed a one-year prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Finney, Gray, John Varey and Margaret Varey were all given eight-month custodial sentences, suspended for a year.
Price, Finney and Gray were also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and to adhere to rehabilitation activity requirements.
John Varey and Margaret Varey have to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
All of the offenders also have to each pay a £140 victim surcharge and are prohibited from entering licensed premises in Frodsham for nine months, unless they have permission from the licensee.
This banning order has been imposed under the Licensed Premises (Exclusion of Certain Persons) Act 1980.
Detective Constable Rebecca Lawson, who led the investigation on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary, said: “I would like to thank all the officers involved in this case for all their hard work in identifying and securing evidence against the five offenders.
“Part of a group that were out drinking in Frodsham town centre that night, the offenders all assaulted innocent bystanders outside The Cholmondeley Arms.
“Victims were either in the wrong place at the wrong time or had gone towards the offenders to try to calm the situation down and protect people who were being assaulted.
“Several people suffered facial injuries. Four of them had to go to hospital for treatment and the injuries sustained included a broken jaw and a fractured eye socket.
“I hope the victims can move forward with their lives now that this case has concluded.
“I also hope this case highlights that here at Cheshire Constabulary we will do everything in our power to identify – and secure evidence against – violent offenders.”