Berkshire

Newbury Racecourse stag party brawl men not guilty

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

Four men on a stag party caught up in a mass brawl at a racecourse between rival football supporters have been acquitted of affray.

The men, all members of Gorseinon Rugby Club, were on a trip to Newbury races in July last year.

Between races, pockets of fighting lasting up to 15 minutes broke out between about 70 rival Cardiff City and Swansea City supporters.

The men pleaded self-defence as they found themselves caught in the middle.

Robert Jenkins, 32, of Heathfield, Gorseinon; Ryan Thomas, 30, Brynffynon Road, Gorseinon; Joshua Davies, 25, of Priors Way, Dunvant; and David Jenkins, 32, of Gryn Rhos, Llanelli were all on an 80-strong stag party with fellow members of Gorseinon Rugby Club, near Llanelli.

Robert Jenkins was left semi-conscious from injuries he received during the fighting.

Wales and British Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny was also in the group from the rugby club, but not involved in any of the disturbance.

During the trial at Reading Crown Court, the jury was shown footage of the fighting from both YouTube and from Channel 4's coverage of the racing.

It took the jury less than three hours to acquit the men.

All four were visibly relieved as the verdicts were read out, hugging each other and relatives in the public gallery as they left court following the nine-day trial.

The men declined to comment following the verdict.

Four other men who have already admitted affray in connection with the fight will be sentenced at a later date.

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