Street melee after Ely nightclub fight

PUBLISHED: 09:10 21 September 2010 | UPDATED: 09:24 21 September 2010

Court

Court

Archant

A DANCEFLOOR row erupted into a street melee after a partygoer goaded a rival into a fight.

A DANCE floor row erupted into a street melée after a party-goer goaded a rival into a fight.

Paul Shane Symonds, 22, took exception to someone calling him a “pikey” and shoved Gary Dunbavin across the floor at Ely’s Iniquity nightclub.

Bouncers at the Fore Hill venue asked the pair to leave, but a fracas ensued as Symonds destroyed a sign in anger and shouted at Dunbavin.

The father-of-two responded, beating Symonds to the ground and reportedly kicking his victim as he lay motionless on the pavement.

Both were punished at Ely Courthouse on Thursday for their “impulsive scuffle”, which left Symonds unconscious with grazes and Dunbavin nursing a broken hand.

Each will have to complete 80 hours unpaid work and pay £50 costs, whereas Symonds must also pay £100 compensation for damaged sign. He must co-operate with a supervision order to deal with alcohol issues.

Dunbavin, of New Barns Avenue, Ely, was said to be “partying hard” in the early hours of August 14 this year after a friend came home from Qatar but had become separated from the rest of his group.

Door staff desperately tried to keep the peace and stood between the pair as Symonds challenged the scaffolder, the court heard.

But the fight started to move down the street, with both men swinging punches at each and Dunbavin removing his top ready to do battle.

In the end Symonds, of Hale Fen, Littleport, was left unconscious on the floor.

The burly fighters were arrested and shown CCTV footage of their behaviour. They later pleaded guilty public order offences, with Symonds also admitting criminal damage.

Dunbavin denied witness reports of him kicking Symonds and asked Ely magistrates to “view it for what it was - an impulsive scuffle outside a nightclub”.

Defending, Jonathan Masters added: “He knows how unacceptable his behaviour was. It is entirely out of character and he has been shocked by it.”

However, he claimed the 25-year-old wasn’t the aggressor inside the club and that Symonds approached him to start the fight.

Mr Masters added: “Several others became involved and it was something of a melee.”

Symonds’ solicitor Jacqui Baldwin said: “Once outside his behaviour does become that of goading. As a result, he gets it.

“Clearly he got out what he was asking for.”

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