The shopkeeper hid in the back as men fought with batons
A shopkeeper retreated to a store cupboard as toilet rolls went flying and blood splattered in a violent melee in his shop.
Luke Drinkwater, 22, has been sentenced for his role in the brawl which saw men with batons and bottles spill out into the street on the afternoon of March 11 last year.
The fight kicked off when Drinkwater was assaulted in his home and suffered a wound to his head.
But he admitted that his response went beyond “reasonable self defence” after he and three others chased his attacker down the street and into the Premier Convenience Store in Redbank Street, Blackpool.
Preston Crown Court was shown shocking CCTV footage of store displays being strewn and men hitting each other with wooden batons.
Recorder John Jones QC, sentencing, said: “The footage shown was quite concerning and it must have been terrifying for the shopkeeper.”
In a victim impact statement, the shopkeeper said the incident scared him and he retreated to the back of the shop as he did not want to be caught up in the violence.
However the court heard Drinkwater was the only person to have been injured, as a result of the initial attack on him, which sparked the incident. He suffered a cut to his eyebrow, which was glued in hospital and is awaiting a referral for migraines and seizures he has suffered from since he was attacked.
Recorder Jones QC said: “Initially you may have acted in self defence but it seems to me that downplays it, and it is not reasonable to say that lasted very long. Thereafter you and the others involved became the aggressors.”
Drinkwater, of Sunny Bank Avenue, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to affray following the violent incident. He admitted it was “stupid, madness and out of control” and said he deeply regretted his actions on March 11.
Two other youths, who can not be named for legal reasons, were given youth cautions in respect of the incident.
Since the incident last year, Drinkwater has moved to settled accommodation, become a father and started work as a labourer, building visiting pods at care homes during the Coronavirus pandemic. Recorder Jones sentenced him to nine months suspended for 18 months and ordered him to carry out 30 days rehabilitation and take a ‘Resolve’ program to tackle violent offending.