Magistrates Rule That Two Men Involved In Fracas Were Acting in Self Defence

PUBLISHED: 15:31 07 April 2010 | UPDATED: 13:18 02 June 2010

TWO men involved in an alcohol fuelled fight in Ely city centre have been found not guilty of using threatening behaviour. Magistrates decided that Jamie Keating - who was bottled and bleeding during the fracas - and Ely City Golf Club green keeper Matthe

TWO men involved in an alcohol fuelled fight in Ely city centre have been found not guilty of using threatening behaviour.

Magistrates decided that Jamie Keating - who was bottled and bleeding during the fracas - and Ely City Golf Club green keeper Matthew LeBrun, had only used violence in self defence.

Prosecutor Sally Rose had claimed that both defendants had kicked and punched a man during the incident in the early hours of December 6.

CCTV footage was viewed, and police officers gave evidence to the court.

In the witness box, 22-year-old LeBrun, of Main Street, Witchford, said he had been "merry" after drinking five pints when he left the Glass House in Ely's Fore Hill around 2am.

He saw his co-defendant Keating bleeding, and saw three men set upon another friend.

When three men ran towards him with their fists clenched, LeBrun punched one of them, fearing he was about to be attacked, he said.

"A third person grabbed me and I fell to the floor, a tussle broke out and then I got up and ran.

"They had glassed one of my friends and beaten up another friend," he said. "I was really scared and wanted to get away," he explained.

Counsel for LeBrun, Lara Maroof, said her client had acted in lawful self defence, and only delivered one punch during the incident.

Representing 22-year-old Keating, of Main Street, Littleport, Nabeel Osman said: "This was an unattractive incident; alcohol fuelled and there was fighting."

He said Keating was a victim and not an aggressor; and Keating had been bottled before he took hold of a man and they both fell to the floor.

Presiding magistrate Janet South said: "We found the police officers' evidence credible, but they did not see sufficient of the incident to be sure the defendants were not acting in self defence.

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