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Holsworthy barman removed drinker from pub before brawl, court told

By This is NorthDevon  |  Posted: April 09, 2013

Exeter Crown Court

A barman at a pub in Holsworthy where a mass street brawl started has denied that local drinkers had dished out ‘mob justice’.

Paul Meredith was on duty at the Crown and Sceptre during a Halloween party which ended in his fellow barman Ricky Cobbledick suffering serious head injuries.

Mr Meredith said he had seen trouble start inside the pub and had removed drinker Blaine Quinlan into the street to get him away from the bar.

A jury at Exeter Crown Court have been told the resulting disorder led to a series of fights and to Mr Cobbledick being kicked and stamped on and his brother having his leg broken.

The prosecution say Blaine Quinlan acted violently and called in his father Steven and older brother Jake to join him in what was said to be ‘mayhem’.

Steven Quinlan is alleged to have driven his car at a crowd of men in the street and he, his two sons, and a 17-year-old youth are accused of giving Ricky Cobbledick a severe beating.

Blaine Quinlan, aged 22, and a 17-year-old youth were involved in the initial brawl and his father Steven, aged 45, and older brother Jake, aged 23, became involved after a call was made back to the family home.

Steven arrived and drove into a crowd of men outside the White Hart pub before all four defendants joined in an attack on Ricky Cobbledick who was punched, kicked and stamped on as he lay helpless on the ground, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Steven, aged 45, Blaine, aged 22, Jake, aged 23, all of Downs View, Venn Green, Milton Damerel, and the youth all deny violent disorder, affray, attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, and causing actual bodily harm. Steven denies dangerous driving.

They say they were acting in self defence or trying to break up the brawl and Steven Quinlan says he neither drove at anyone or hit them.

Crown and Sceptre barman Paul Meredith said he was involved at the start of the violence which flared up when one of the locals drinking at the bar got into an argument with Blaine Quinlan and pushed him off his stool.

He said the landlady tried to get between the two men and he then helped eject Blaine Quinlan from the pub.

He was asked by defence counsel if there had been a scrum of people pushing Quinn out of the pub.

He replied:”The trouble was between and another man and I thought the easiest way of dealing with it and defusing the situation was to remove him from the pub.

“It was not like a scrum. I took him up the alleyway to the street. There may have been others around or behind me. It was not anything like mob justice.”

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