Two men are jailed after a mass brawl

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Two men caught up in a mass brawl on the streets of Leyland have been jailed.

Police received a large number of calls from frightened residents who saw two groups of men wielding weapons, including a samurai sword and a baseball bat, in a fracas on the street in the early hours of April 19, 2009.

Barry McGrath, Martin Mansley and Jason Terence Gourlay admitted affray at Preston Crown Court (pictured) for their part in the brawl.

The court heard that there were varying accounts of what had happened on the night but that matters had begun outside a house, when half a dozen men were seen, one brandishing a bat and another a wheel brace, which were used to smash a window on the door.

The court was told McGrath, 37, of Barn Croft, Leyland, did not have a weapon but was ‘at the forefront’, shouting ‘come out here’ through the letterbox of the house.

Summarising the evidence, Judge Graham Knowles QC said: “The mob went inside. Someone was dragged out. People piled on top of him. There was a violent melee in the street.”

The court heard Mansley, 42, of Preesall Close, Larches, Preston, and Gourlay, 35, of Ribbleton Hall Drive, Preston, were among a group of men who emerged from the house. While neither had a weapon on him, another member of the group had a samurai sword and some of the mob were heard remonstrating with and swearing at the first group.

Police later found a bat, wheel brace and 12in knife on the streets. McGrath was jailed for nine months and Mansley for six. Gourlay was given a two-year community order with supervision.

Judge Knowles said: “This was group disorder, which was horrifying for anyone who had seen it.”