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McDonald's brawl sees three men sentenced

Three men filmed launching an attack on a McDonald's security guard have written letters of apology.

Two brothers and a friend punched and kicked the guard at the fast food restaurant in Commercial Road, Strood.

The fight kicked off in the early hours of the morning

But half way through the case at Maidstone Crown Court, the judge invited them to pen their regrets before sentencing them.

Mechanic Andrew Rowley, 25, of Longfield Avenue, Rochester; his brother ex-bouncer Edward, 20, of Provis Place, Wainscott and bedmaker Lewis Hatcher, of Wharf Lane, Cliffe, all admitted affray.

Prosecutor Trevor Wright told how the incident happened on April 20 last year - and was captured on a phone and later posted on Facebook.

He said that as a result the three were identified as attacking Fidel Matola, with someone yelling racist abuse before a plastic cone was thrown which hit him on the head.

The scene in McDonald's in Strood, in the early hours of Saturday
The scene in McDonald's in Strood, in the early hours of Saturday

A chair was also hurled at the guard but he manage to kick it away, the court heard.

The court heard how the 3am incident occurred when a woman complained about being ogled by a group of Asian men.

He said the three then got involved and Mr Matola asked them to leave because he felt they were becoming unruly.

"Edward became aggressive towards the guard pushing him into a crowd of people in the restaurant, " the prosecutor said.

The other two then joined in the attack throwing punches and kicking the guard who fell to the ground for 30 to 40 seconds.

Lewis Hatcher
Lewis Hatcher

Mr Wright said that as Mr Matola fell to the ground Andrew jumped on him as Hatcher began punching him.

The trio later left the restaurant leaving the guard requiring hospital treatment.

Adrian Rohard, defending the brothers, said they came from a family with "an infamous reputation" and were expected to fight with other siblings at Christmas "to see which child finished on top".

He said that the three had not been drinking and only got involved in the scrap because they felt the guard had not intervened in the earlier incident involving the woman.

"They spoke with the Asian men and shook hands with them but then Mr Matola asked them to leave. Edward accepts that he totally over reacted. He saw red and was out of control," Mr Rohard said.

Andrew Rowley
Andrew Rowley

Hatcher, who defended himself, told the judge, Recorder Andrew Burns QC: "I am totally ashamed and regret my decision to get involved very much. I am very sorry for my actions and for others who saw what happened."

The three were each given an eight-month jail sentence suspended for two years and carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. They were also ordered to pay £428 compensation and £340 in court costs.

At one point the security guard appears to be struck while he is on the ground.

A McDonald’s spokesman said: “The safety and security of our people and customers is our absolute priority, and it is extremely disappointing to see this sort of behaviour in the restaurant.

"We do not tolerate any form of violence or abuse and will be cooperating fully with the police investigation.”

Ed Rowley
Ed Rowley

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