10 sentenced over violence in Welwyn Garden City town centre

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:41 13 December 2017

Four of the 10 defendants sentenced on Tuesday in connection with violence in Welwyn Garden City: Billy Docherty, Owen McColm, Alex Bakewell, Matthew Wall
Picture: Herts Police

Four of the 10 defendants sentenced on Tuesday in connection with violence in Welwyn Garden City: Billy Docherty, Owen McColm, Alex Bakewell, Matthew Wall Picture: Herts Police


Ten young men who brought violence to the streets of Welwyn Garden City late one night have been sentenced.

Luton Crown Court
Picture: Google Street ViewLuton Crown Court Picture: Google Street View

The 10 ran riot through the town chasing down and attacking other young men and injuring them in a flurry of kicks and punches as well as robbing them.

An empty bottle was even used to break the jaw of a victim.

Another victim had several teeth knocked out.

Luton crown court heard yesteday, how the violence had broken out in the early hours of September 25 2016.

Defendant Matthew Wall
Picture: Herts PoliceDefendant Matthew Wall Picture: Herts Police

Judge Nigel Lithman QC hearing the case was told up to 19 youths had been out that night.

The attacks were carried out over a numbers of hours involving different defendants acting in smaller groups.

Some of their victims were leaving late night pubs in the town to make their way home when they found themselves under attack.

Passing sentence on the 10, who are all from the Welwyn Garden City area, Judge Lithman told them “You took it upon yourselves to move around different sites in Welwyn Garden City attacking unsuspecting victims and using serious violence.”

Defendant: Billy Docherty
Picture: Herts PoliceDefendant: Billy Docherty Picture: Herts Police

During the hearing yesterday, the court was told the violence had taken place in an around the town centre close to the Howard Centre.

Nine of the defendants pleaded guilty to violent disorder and one admitted conspiracy to rob.

In the dock yesterday were Jordan Bellamy Pressley, 18, Matthew Wall, 22, Owen McColm, 18, and Billy Docherty,18 and Alex Bakewell ,19 along with two 16 year olds and three 17 year olds.

Bakewell alone admitted conspiring to rob while the rest admitted the charge of violent disorder.

Defendant: Alex Bakewell
Picture: Herts PoliceDefendant: Alex Bakewell Picture: Herts Police

One victim was attacked by a group after he had left the two willows pub.

The court heard he was intoxicated and therefore an easy target.

Four young men followed him into an alleyway where he was attacked with kicks and punches before his iPhone was taken along with a driving licence, debit card, £50 in cash and a donor card.

When the victim remonstrated with his attackers and offered to give them money for the return of his mobile phone, his wallet was snatched from him.

Defendant: Owen McColm
Picture: Herts PoliceDefendant: Owen McColm Picture: Herts Police

Two more young men were the next victims of the marauding youths.

One had been in the Two Willows pub before going onto a nightclub.

The court was told in separate attacks both were struck by an assailant wielding a bottle.

They too were kicked and punched and stamped on as they found themselves completely outnumbered.

One victim lost three teeth in the attack as well as the two hearing aids he wore.

The other man suffered a broken jaw and underwent surgery to fix it.

He was in hospital for two weeks and for eight weeks was on a liquid diet only.

Both men, the court was told had been left with feelings of anxiety and depression because of what had happened to them that night.

Bakewell was sentenced to three years’ custody, Docherty received a custodial sentence of two-and-half years, while Wall was sentenced to 12 months behind bars.

McColm was given a custodial sentence of 12 months and Bellamy Pressley received 12-month custodial sentence, which was suspended for two years, and told he would be subject to a four-month home curfew between the hours of 8pm to 7.30am.

He will also have to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

A youth who was 15 at the time and who is now 16 was given an 18-month detention and training order

Another youth who was 16 at the time and who is now 17 was given a 12-month referral order and will be subject to a three-month home curfew between the hours of 11pm and 6am.

He was also given an attendance centre order for 30 hours.

A 17-year-old youth was sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order with supervision to run for the next 24 months.

He too will be subject to a night time home curfew for the next three months .

Another 17-year-old was made the subject of a youth rehabilitation order with supervision to run for two years and told he would be subject to a four-month curfew.

He must also carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

Finally a 17-year-old was sentenced to a 12-month detention and training order.

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