Terrifying moment thug leaps out of car with a golf club to attack rival in city centre street brawl outside nightclub
Incident outside Liquid nightclub in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in April last yearNathan Wood, 20, and Mark Crouth, 18, both receive suspended sentencesGang members had long-running dispute and tensions came to the boil
12:31 GMT, 14 December 2012
Innocent clubbers were caught up in a terrifying city centre clash between gangs as rival members tried to run each other over following a long-running dispute, a court heard.
The dispute between Nathan Wood and Mark Crouth came to the boil as hundreds of partygoers poured out of Liquid nightclub in Newcastle-upon-Tyne at 3.30am on a day in April last year.
Wood, 20, of Seghill, Northumberland, and Crouth, 18, of Cramlington, Northumberland, had a hatred of each other and trouble flared when they met, Newcastle Crown Court heard on Wednesday.
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Caught on camera: Mark Crouth, 18, of Cramlington, Northumberland, was pictured with a golf club as partygoers poured out of Liquid nightclub in Newcastle at 3.30am on an early morning in April last year
Initial confrontation: Hundreds of innocent clubbers were caught up in the terrifying city centre clash last year
Wood began kicking a car in which Crouth was being driven by a man called David Langlands, who reversed it towards Wood and knocked down someone who was not involved in the disturbance.
That person escaped without suffering serious injuries, but the car then drove a short distance up the road, stopped and Crouth got out carrying a golf club.
As he marched towards a car being driven by Wood, Wood aimed his car at Crouth. Crouth managed to jump out of the way of Wood's car and started smashing its windows with the golf club.
‘Wood reverses up the street towards Crouth, who strikes the windscreen with the golf club,’ Gavin Doig, prosecuting, said. ‘Wood brings the vehicle to a stop and then drives towards Crouth.’
Violence: Wood is pictured kicking the car with Crouth inside as trouble flared when they met in Newcastle
Wood pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and affray. He was given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was banned from driving for 12 months.
'It was a serious incident and people could have been badly injured by what took place'
Judge James Goss QC
Crouth pleaded guilty to affray and was given 16 weeks suspended for 12 months.
Langlands, 24, of Cramlington, was convicted of careless driving but cleared of dangerous driving and affray. He was fined 300 and was given seven penalty points on his licence.
Two members of Wood's group, Jamie Douglas, 22, of Choppington, Northumberland, and Sandy Burns, 20, of Cramlington, also pleaded guilty to affray but were said to be on the periphery of the incident.
Dangerous: Wood is pictured reversing his car towards Crouth. Crouth managed to jump out of the way of Wood's car and started smashing its windows with the golf club
Douglas was given a community order with 100 hours of unpaid work while Burns was given a conditional discharge and must pay 50 costs.
John Wilkinson, for Wood, said there had been trouble between him and Crouth in the past and he had given witness statements to the police about other incidents.
Robert Adams, for Crouth, said: ‘He was 17 at the time and it was a long-standing dispute between him and Wood which had been going on for three years.’
Robin Denny, for Langlands, said he was a painter and decorator and that trouble had come to him.
Sentence: Wood pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and affray. He was given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was banned from driving for 12 months. Crouth is pictured left
The court heard Burns hopes to join the RAF and Douglas has never been in trouble before.
Passing sentence, Judge James Goss QC said: ‘There was an ugly episode of violence outside a nightclub where up to a thousand people had ended up in the street.
‘It was a serious incident and people could have been badly injured by what took place.
‘When members of the general public see violence such as this they are often genuinely upset and frightened and it causes enormous concern.’
VIDEO: VIOLENT Fight between rival gangs terrifies partygoers in Newcastle
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