A judge was astonished at hearing how staff at a Grantham pub made no attempt to call police when a mass brawl broke out.
Judge Sean Morris, sitting at Lincoln Crown Court, was told that after the incident in The Priory, victims refused to complain, and one of them claimed to have simply fallen over.
The prosecution against three men who admitted affray was later brought entirely as a result of CCTV footage, which showed the incident inside the pub.
Judge Morris said: “Publicans are under a duty to assist the police. Any publican who doesn’t assist the police should automatically be referred to the licensing authorities who should give serious consideration to revoking their licence.”
Stephen Clarke, 32, of The Avenue, Grantham, Shaun Page, 22, of Tamar Court, Grantham and Nicholas Page, 24, of Cecil Street, Grantham; each admitted affray on 1 May.
Clarke was given a 10 month jail sentence suspended for 15 months. Shaun Page was given 12 months suspended for 18 months. Nicholas Page was given seven months jail suspended for 12 months. Each of the three men was also given a three month night-time curfew.
Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said the incident arose after the trio’s presence in the pub was objected to by members of a family who regarded the premises as their ‘own territory’.
After some gesticulating from others Clarke began the violence. The Page brothers joined in with kicks and punches before the incident eventually died down.
Chris Milligan, for Clarke, said he reacted after being subjected to threatening and intimidating remarks.
“This was a two-sided incident. Nobody would make a statement afterwards. The landlord would not support a police investigation. It says an awful lot about the pub and the people who drink there.”
He said Clarke has an 18 month old baby with a life limiting condition and an immediate jail sentence would have a crushing effect on him and his family.
Jeremy Janes, for the Page brothers, said they did not start the incident.
He said both have young children and told the court “They are not a lost cause.”