Man started Sidmouth pub brawl after being told to ‘grow up’, court hears

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

Judge hands Rhys Bragg, 27, suspended prison sentence and orders him to pay £150 compensation

A steel fabricator has been ordered to pay compensation after he started a pub brawl.

Rhys Bragg headbutted one customer and held another in a headlock during the fracas at the Balfour pub in Sidmouth, Exeter Crown Court was told.

He had gone out after work and became violent when banter with other drinkers got out of hand. Bragg attacked a man who told him to grow up after he joked he was going to kiss him on his head.

Bragg, aged 27, of Ashleigh Crescent, Sidmouth, admitted affray and was jailed for four months, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to undertake 35 days rehabilitation, and to pay £150 compensation and £300 costs by Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC.

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He told him: “This is completely unacceptable. You started violence inside a public house. You were not entirely responsible for what happened. It must never happen again.

“Someone told you to grow up and at your age that is what you need to do. You have responsibilities to your employees, your partner and your child. I hope you never come before any court again.”

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Mr Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, said Bragg went to the Balfour with his brother, David, on June 9 last year and got involved in banter with one of the customers. He said:”The defendant was offering to kiss someone’s head. This was not welcome. The man told him and his brother to grow up. Bragg took exception to this and headbutted him.”

Mr Wraith said there was a brawl in which Bragg also held a man in a headlock.

He said the landlord was particularly upset because the pub had just been refurbished to give it more of a family atmosphere.

Miss Emmi Wilson, defending, urged the judge to follow a probation report which suggested Bragg carry out rehabilitation work to address his alcohol use and aggression.

The report said he runs his own firm making steel frames and has one child and another on the way.

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