A 'PEACEMAKER' who attacked a doorman during a mass brawl outside an Evesham nightclub on Christmas morning was told by a judge he should have just walked away.

Callum Barnett became embroiled in the fight after several people were ejected from Marylin’s and trouble flared between 'local lads' from Evesham and others from 'Eastern Europe'.

As previously reported, the violence began after a large group of men had gathered in the town’s Bridge Street at around 3.15am on Christmas Day 2018.

Judge Martin Jackson said the violence began when a group of Romanian men had been ejected from the nightclub for ‘ordering a round of drinks and not paying for it’.

The court heard that the 24-year-old defendant had been trying to break up the fight as had the victim, doorman Jordan Adkins, who was later struck at least four times by Bennett.

Bennett had already admitted escaping lawful custody, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday.

It was the same brawl which led to Thomas Packwood being cleared of affray by a jury last November. However, like Bennett, 33-year-old Packwood had attempted to run away from the scene in handcuffs.

Packwood was convicted of escaping lawful custody after the violence - for all of 12 seconds, actions which led Judge Jackson to brand him 'a complete idiot' when he sentenced him last November.

Packwood received a 12 month community order and was ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work.

Bennett pleaded guilty on the basis that he did not start the trouble and that, when trouble began, he acted as a ‘peacemaker’ before he himself was assaulted and the joined in the violence.

Amiee Parkes, prosecuting, said five or six ‘Eastern European males’ were arguing with 15 British males. The Eastern European males took off their belts and wrapped them around their fists.

This incident was broken up before hostilities began again outside a pizza shop with doorman Mr Adkins trying to protect one of the Eastern European males from the British males as kicks were being aimed at his head as he lay on the floor.

It was during a later stage of the brawl Mr Adkins was assaulted by Barnett. The doorman said in a statement: “Callum Barnett has grabbed me around the neck from behind. He started to punch me in the left hand side of my head six or seven times.”

An officer present at the scene said Barnett had thrown ‘at least four punches’ at the doorman.

Mr Adkins said he could remember his head being banged against a fence ‘at least twice’ and believed he 'may have blacked out'. Mr Adkins also remembered being physically sick after the incident.

He said Barnett said of the Eastern European men: "They should not be in this country."

When Mr Adkins attended Worcestershire Royal Hospital, he was found to have a concussion and did not return home until 2pm on Christmas Day so could not spend time with his family.

He also suffered headaches and was not able to work for five days, losing between £300 and £500.

In police interview Barnett said he suffered from depression and had stopped taking his medication at the time. The defendant has three previous convictions for four offences including for battery from April 2019.

He described himself as six out of 10 on a scale of drunkenness. “He accepted he had run away from police” said Miss Parkes.

Peter Cooper, defending, said: “There have been issues with depression and suicidal thoughts.”

However, he said his client was no longer depressed and supplied character references from the defendant’s girlfriend and employer.

Barnett had been working on a temporary basis for the Evesham concrete division of Ibstock PLC where he was said to be reliant and punctual, hoping it would lead to a permanent position.

But Barnett is now facing redundancy within three weeks because of Covid-19, the barrister told the court.

“He’s not a person who was starting the violence – he was a person actively and repeatedly attempting to quell it before he was himself significantly assaulted” said Mr Cooper.

Judge Martin Jackson told Barnett that, despite him not being the initial cause of the trouble, he had made an ‘inflammatory and ill-judged comment’ that ‘local lads should be able to finish off their drinks’ at the club.

He said of the attack on Mr Adkins 'there was no excuse for that at all' and described Barnett’s escape from custody as ‘not a particularly successful attempt to get away'.

Judge Jackson accepted there had been a delay in the case caused by issues with the service of the CCTV and that Barnett had entered his guilty pleas ahead of any trial.

However, he also told the defendant: “You simply could have walked away. Instead you chose to plunge more deeply into what was going on.”

Barnett was sentenced to 15 months in prison suspended for two years and placed on an electronic curfew which will be at his girlfriend’s address in Poplar Court, Badsey. This will run between 9pm and 6am for the next three months. He was also ordered to pay compensation of £400 to Mr Adkins.

A not guilty verdict was recorded for violent disorder after the Crown offered no evidence.

Barnett must also complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.