Beds, Herts & Bucks

Ware wedding party punch-up accused admits 'grappling' with groom

Fanhams Hall Hotel Image copyright Darren Smith/Geograph
Image caption The two wedding parties allegedly came to blows at this hotel

A man accused of punching a groom when two wedding parties clashed at a hotel has denied hitting anyone but admitted "grappling" on the floor.

Glen Evans was left with a broken nose and his bride Georgina was punched at Fanhams Hall Hotel in Hertfordshire, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Lee Doyle, 37, of Houghton Regis denied punching the groom. He and Gary Hutson, 46, of Luton, both charged with affray, were guests at another wedding.

Both deny affray on 10 August 2014.

The court heard an argument broke out when Mr Doyle and Mr Hutson asked Mr and Mrs Evans and their friends to move away from a fireplace.

The newly married couple and their group were having drinks at the hotel following their own reception at another hotel.

'Volatile'

Mr Evans said the two men and the other groom confronted him, saying the area was reserved, although his party had been put there by bar staff.

He said the two men hit him, and he was kicked and punched by others who joined in the attack. Mrs Evans was then also punched, leaving her with bruising to the head.

However, Mr Doyle told the court he was trying to defuse the situation, which he described as "volatile".

He admitted pushing Mr Evans and "grappling" with him as he thought he was going to attack Mr Hutson.

Mr Doyle described Mr Evans as "irate and aggressive" but denied hitting him.

Earlier this week Mr Evans denied allegations that he had thrown the first punch and had been "aggressive".

The trial continues.

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