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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Carlisle judge slams decision not to prosecute wedding bus troublemaker

A judge has condemned as “nonsense” a decision not to prosecute a trouble-maker on a bus taking guests home to Workington after a wedding.

One man caught up in the brawl appeared at Carlisle Crown Court  for a relatively minor assault.

But the one who started it all – and allegedly went on to commit a much more serious offence by kicking a fellow guest on the ground outside the bus – has not been charged with any offence at all.

The court was told that that man, named in court as Kyle Mackay, had escaped prosecution because the evidence against him was considered too weak.

But after reading the prosecution evidence the judge, Recorder Kevin Grice, slammed the decision not to take Mr Mackay to court.

“I find that decision quite extraordinary.” he said. “For someone to say there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him is nonsense.”

He said it was obvious that Mr Mackay had been “the source of the trouble”, and that if he had not behaved so badly none of the trouble that followed would have happened.

“The most serious aspect of this entire episode, unedifying as it was, from start to finish, was the kick on the ground administered by Kyle Mackay. I think it is important to investigate why such an incident is not the subject of any charge at all.”

The judge said there was nothing he could do to alter the decision, but instructed that his comments be passed on to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The court heard the trouble broke out on the hired coach as it headed back to Workington from the reception in Lorton after the wedding at Loweswater Church on May 27. At least six of the 21 passengers were involved, and the driver was “trapped in the driving seat” after being hit on the head.

In court yesterday the one man charged with any offence pleaded guilty to offences of common affray and common assault on fellow passenger Christopher Morrison, who was trying to act as peace-maker.

Paul Milburn Briggs, 37, admitted elbowing Mr Morrison when he lashed out after someone grabbed him.

Briggs, of Westfield Drive, Workington, was remanded on bail for background reports and will be sentenced on December 11.

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