Three men jailed for Weymouth Town Centre attack

Dorset Echo: CAGED: Liam Budd CAGED: Liam Budd

THREE men have been jailed for a ‘shocking, shameful and disgraceful’ attack in Weymouth town centre.

John Darch, Yiannis Afentakis and Liam Budd had admitted a charge of affray relating to an altercation on the Esplanade in the early hours of December 27 last year.

Prosecutor Stuart Ellacott said the three defendants, all aged 19, passed by another group of friends, who were singing and playing guitar.

He said: “There are some words between the groups, the first blow is thrown, and others join in.”

CCTV footage of the incident was played at Dorchester Crown Court, showing Darch and Budd kick someone who was lying on the floor.

Another youth, who was 16 at the time of the offence, was also involved in the attack and he was dealt with in the youth court where he was given a rehabilitation order.

Two victims were left with bruises and grazes after the attack.

Mitigating for Darch, of Beverley Road, Weymouth, Nigel Mitchell said the defendant ‘bitterly regrets’ his actions.

He added: “The boxing club, where he voluntarily spends time teaching young people, all speak in very much glowing terms of his character.”

Representing Afentakis, of Dorchester Road, Weymouth, Lee Christmas said: “This is out of character.

“He is a hard-working young man, who works full-time as a chef, and then goes home to help his family, who have had tragedy recently.”

Mr Christmas added that Afentakis initially entered the fight in an attempt to pull people away, and was the first to walk away from the scene.

Mitigating for Budd, of Bedford Road, Weymouth, Neil Hinton said: “He acted in a way that was out of character for him and very much regrets his involvement, not just because he finds himself in court today, but because he is really disgusted by the violence shown.”

Mr Hinton added: “It was not a prolonged matter, it flared up, blows and kicks were thrown, and then it calmed down without the involvement of the police.”

The three teenagers, of previous good character, remained impassive in the dock as they were sentenced to 32 weeks’ imprisonment.

Judge Roger Jarvis said: “There are a small number of people, usually young, often male, who seem to think that the normal standards of behaviour do not apply to them.

“Drinking to excess and behaving in the absolutely disgraceful way these images demonstrate is appalling behaviour.

“The sheer savagery of this relatively short period of time is shocking, shameful and disgraceful. I am told your families are shocked and upset and so they should be.”

He added: “It is not going to be the case that certain areas of town at certain times of day are only to be frequented by violent drunks.

“Many ordinary people worry about going there in fear of what will happen to them. It is quite wrong.”

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