Beds, Herts & Bucks

Three Luton men jailed over new year trouble

Three Luton men have been jailed over a fight at a new year party in the town which left a man with brain damage.

Christopher Sweeney, 26, from Dunstable, was punched at the party.

Dylan McKenzie, 31, of Telscombe Way and Lewis Graham, 19, of Cutlers Green, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and were jailed for three years.

Luke Dorsett, 22, of Mangrove Road, who was stabbed in fight, pleaded guilty to violent disorder and was sentenced to two years custody at Luton Crown Court.

Judge Richard Foster said Mr Sweeney "was now a severely disabled young man and he will be for the rest of his life".

He said: "It was mindless, drunken thuggery which led to very serious violence giving rise to life-threatening injuries."

Dorsett was described as the catalyst for the trouble.

The court heard he was seen walking on the bonnet of a car and was said to be goading the others for a fight.

He shared the dock with McKenzie, who admitted inflicting a near fatal stab injury to Dorsett's chest in the fight.

'Heavy drinking culture'

Claudette Elliott, prosecuting, said the events occurred in the early hours of 1 January 2010.

She told the court that people were armed with broken bottles, knives and bars. McKenzie saw his mother being assaulted and confronted Dorsett with a knife.

Mr Sweeney tried to bring peace but Graham punched him, he fell and hit his head on the ground.

"He suffered very serious injuries and a neurosurgeon struggled to keep him alive," she said.

Lawrence Selby defending Dorsett said: "When I pointed out two people could have lost their lives that night it dawned on him and it was an emotional moment."

Bozzie Sheffi representing Graham said: "He has to live with the knowledge of the injury he caused that night."

Lewis Power, defending McKenzie added: "An easy going new year party was ruined by a group of thugs hell bent on causing trouble."

Judge Foster said: "Sadly there is now a culture in our towns and cities of heavy drinking followed by behaviour of this nature."

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