Welwyn Garden City men 'behaved like animals that night'

PUBLISHED: 13:23 14 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:33 14 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

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Police have described those involved in a night of violence in Welwyn Garden City as "behaving like animals".

Chief Inspector Ruth Dodsworth and Detective Inspector John Hazeldine, who leads Welwyn Hatfield's Local Crime Unit.

Picture: Herts PoliceChief Inspector Ruth Dodsworth and Detective Inspector John Hazeldine, who leads Welwyn Hatfield's Local Crime Unit. Picture: Herts Police

After a thirteen month enquiry, those who pleaded guilty in connection with the violent disorder that happened in Welwyn Garden City’s town centre on September 24, 2016, were sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Tuesday, December 12.

Following the disorder that night, Welwyn Hatfield’s Local Crime Unit launched Operation Hade to find those responsible and tackle the on-going anti-social behaviour, disorder and associated crime experienced in parts of Welwyn Garden City.

Extensive enquiries led to the arrest and charge of 12 individuals, and three weeks into the trial, 11 of those pleaded guilty. Ten of these were sentenced on Tuesday.

Detective Inspector John Hazeldine, who leads Welwyn Hatfield’s Local Crime Unit, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of this case.

“My officers worked incredibly hard and diligently to bring these individuals to justice.

“Those sentenced on Tuesday behaved like animals that night in September 2016 and they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

“They put their victims through pain and terrible distress, which will no doubt stay with them for many years to come.

“Hertfordshire Constabulary will not tolerate such unacceptable, violent disorderly behaviour and we will continue to come down hard on those responsible as we have with Operation Hade.”

Welwyn Hatfield’s Chief Inspector Ruth Dodsworth, said: “I am very pleased with this sentencing result.

“Detectives from our Local Crime Unit worked extremely hard to secure these convictions which demonstrate that anyone involved in such serious offences will face the consequences of their actions.

“All officers across Welwyn Hatfield work tirelessly every day to keep local people safe and we are determined to continue to take a robust approach with anyone involved in such ASB and disorder.

“Through our own investigations and information from the public, we can work together to keep the area safe and I would therefore strongly encourage people to always report suspicious activity and antisocial behaviour to us should they come across it.

“Crime or suspicious activity can be reported to us via the police non-emergency number 101 or dial 999 if you witness an offence in progress. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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