Night of violence at pubs

By Tom Cullimore

A MAN suffered sickening injuries after trouble flared across Wetherby last weekend.

Incidents of disorder were reported at three town centre pubs including The Angel, on High Street, where a man sliced his arm open after apparently punching the window after being ejected for fighting.

Police and paramedics were called to his aid as the man, understood to be a race-goer from the Bradford area, lay bleeding heavily in the street.

The man’s condition is not life-threatening.

But that wasn’t the only problem in Wetherby on Saturday evening.

Windows were smashed at the George and Dragon, also on High Street, after a further – unrelated – fight led to more revellers being thrown out.

And two women were also ejected from the Black Bull, in the Market Place, after scuffles broke-out.

But despite the trouble, Inspector Marcus Griffiths - of Wetherby Police – praised the town’s landlords whose action, in accordance with Pub Watch guidelines, prevented any further problems.

Insp Griffiths also said that the incidents were sparked by an unusually large number of people descending on Wetherby in the early evening.

“The Pub Watch group deserve a lot of credit because their actions helped stop the problems escalating,” he said.

“They closed their pubs so that those engaging in anti-social behaviour couldn’t go elsewhere once they had been ejected.

“The closure demonstrates just how effective the Pub Watch scheme is when landlords work together.

“Publicans don’t know what type of people their clientele are when they first walk in. And they’re under obligation to kick people out if they get drunk and abusive.

“Unfortunately some people react adversely to that.

“The incidents that occurred were disgraceful – unacceptable. And as always, we will take positive action against any person disrupting Wetherby town centre and the lives of ordinary people who want to enjoy their evening.

“But it was an unusual outbreak of trouble. The only time we see levels of disorder like that is when large numbers of people who are not normally in Wetherby come into the town centre.”

Insp Griffiths added that the man who suffered serious injuries appeared to have been involved in a fight before punching the window.

“It would seem that two separate groups of race-goers were involved in scuffles in The Angel before being thrown out,” he said.