Trio to be sentenced after three men attacked outside Merlin's Entertainment Complex on Sheppey
Maidstone Crown Court,
where Bangs and Leigh were convicted
Three men are to be sentenced for their part in a violent
incident during which three members of one family were attacked and
two young children were showered in glass outside a Sheppey
Maidstone Crown Court heard Scott Roberts was stamped on his
head repeatedly while his father James was struck with a bottle and
cousin Michael Skerratt suffered a cut to his head and a swollen
James Roberts’ two grandchildren were strapped in child seats in
a car outside Merlin’s Entertainment Complex in Leysdown Road on
New Year’s Day last year.
But their presence did little to stop the violence and they were
showered in glass when one of the men involved kicked the car
Charlie Bangs, 25, of Hazel Avenue, Minster, and Stephen Leigh,
23, of Neptune Terrace, Sheerness, both denied violent disorder but
were convicted after a trial.
However, Leigh was found guilty in his absence after he failed
to attend court for any part of his trial.
Ricky Wigglesworth, 22, formerly of Medway Road, Sheerness,
pleaded guilty to the same charge of violent disorder at an earlier
Sentencing of the three was adjourned until April 22.
"I’m having too much fun. I’m not finished" – Stephen Leigh, before kicking in the windscreen of a car containing children
A fourth man, Matthew
Whiting, 29, of Borough Road, Queenborough, had also denied violent
disorder and was formally cleared by the jury after Judge Richard
Polden ruled that there was no case to answer.
The court heard at the start of the trial that James Roberts had
gone to Merlin’s in the early hours of New Year’s Day to collect
his son, daughter Jamie and her partner, Tony Eagle.
The couple’s two children were also in the car. But prosecutor
Charlotte Newell said when their presence was pointed out, Leigh
turned his attention to the vehicle.
“He said ‘I’m having too much fun. I’m not finished’,” she
explained. “He then ran up to the car, kicking the windscreen,
smashing the glass and showering the occupants, including the
children, with glass.”
The court heard that James Roberts, Mr Skerratt and also Mr
Eagle were set upon as they tried to help Scott Roberts.
His then girlfriend later identified Leigh, Bangs and Mr Whiting
to the police as all being involved in the fracas.
Mr Whiting was arrested but told police he had been smoking a
cigarette outside when he saw Scott Roberts being beaten up and
went to help him.
Miss Newell told the court he denied saying the men “deserved
Bangs told police he was leaving Merlin’s when he saw a
commotion. “Far from using or threatening violent words or
behaviour, he said he was helping people up,” added Miss
When told the girlfriend had identified him as one of the
attackers, he replied: “She must have it in for me.”
Leigh was arrested but made no comment throughout his police
The jury was told by Judge Polden at the start of the trial that
they should not be prejudiced against Leigh by his
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