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Three men locked up for drunken fight at Chester beer garden

December 23, 2021


THREE men who began a drunken violent punch-up in a Chester pub’s beer garden have been put behind bars.

Kyle Slater, Thomas Nelson and Taylor Wolstencroft had all travelled from the Greater Manchester area to Chester on Wednesday, August 4 and, after being told to leave The Commercial Bar and Hotel that afternoon, returned to throw chairs, tables and punches, Chester Crown Court heard on Thursday, December 23.

Slater, 21, of Merehall Drive, Bolton; Nelson, 28, of Leaf Street, Bolton and Wolstencroft, 18, of Uplands Avenue, Radcliffe, were all locked up for 10 months by Judge Patrick Thompson.

The trio had previously pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity to affray.

The Commercial Bar and Hotel, Chester. Picture: Google.

The Commercial Bar and Hotel, Chester. Picture: Google.

Prosecuting, Siôn Ap Mihangel said it was at about 4.30pm when the duty manager of The Commercial saw the three men sat at a table, arguing with people at another table, and the comment “f*** Chester” was heard from the group of men, among threats.

They were asked to leave and were ushered away via the alleyway leading to Northgate Street.

The manager returned inside and then saw a chair being thrown outside – the group had returned, and were throwing chairs, tables, bottles and punches.

One of the women who had been on the other table was seen covering her head.

The duty manager went outside and he was kicked to the stomach, landing on the floor on his tail bone, causing discomfort.

The three men ran off as extra staff intervened, and police were notified, with the trio being arrested in Chester.

CCTV footage showing Slater being the man who first threw a chair, as well as the rest of the fight, was played to all three defendants in court.

In police interview, Slater said he was very drunk and did not remember much, having gone to Chester with 12 friends initially, but the group had split up.

He had been drinking double JD and coke and was “feeling a bit tipsy”. He admitted the level of violence was “unacceptable” and that, with hindsight, he should have just walked away.

Wolstencroft declined to comment when asked if the man shown on CCTV was him.

Nelson said he had tried to calm the situation down at first, and initially succeeded as the group left, but accepted he had returned to the beer garden with them and ended up throwing a table.

Nelson had eight previous convictions for 11 offences, with Wolstencroft two previous convictions and Slater one previous conviction.

All three had football banning orders, and Wolstencroft had breached his in May 2021.

Judge Thompson said it was surprising that nowhere had it been mentioned in the case, other than in a probation officer’s report, that the three men had travelled from the Bolton area to Chester on the day Chester FC were playing Bolton Wanderers in a pre-season friendly that evening.

Judge Patrick Thompson at Chester Crown Court. Picture by Andrew Price/View Finder Pictures.

Judge Patrick Thompson at Chester Crown Court. Picture by Andrew Price/View Finder Pictures.

He said it was an “incredible coincidence” if the three, who previously had football banning orders, had travelled to Chester but were not later going to the football match.

Brian Treadwell, defending Slater and Nelson, said Nelson had tried to defuse the situation initially, but what followed was a joint enterprise.

He had made “full and frank admissions” in police interview.

Slater had one prior conviction for setting off a smoke bomb at a football stadium.

Jade Tufail, defending Wolstencroft, said there was a lack of maturity for the defendant and he accepted it was “a stupid thing to do”.

Judge Thompson said people in Chester were “sick and tired” of people coming to the city and being drunk and violent, so only immediate custody was appropriate.

He added Wolstencroft did not appear to take the court seriously by breaching his football banning order.

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