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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Two admit their part in trouble on Carlisle housing estate

Two men have admitted being involved in major trouble involving a golf club and extendable baton which broke out on one of Carlisle’s housing estates.

And two others have gone on trial accused of being at the centre of the disorder on the Harraby estate last year.

All four were in the dock at the city’s crown court yesterday when their trial was due to start.

But two – Wayne Blair, 23, of Ennerdale Avenue; and Stephen Currie, 23, of Borland Avenue, both Botcherby – pleaded guilty to charges of affray arising from the incident that happened in Lingmoor Way on the afternoon of November 24.

They were granted bail and will be sentenced later.

The trial of the other two – Mark Lowther, 26, of Ennerdale Avenue, Botcherby, and a 17-year-old from the Gretna area who cannot be named because of his age – continued after they maintained their pleas of not guilty to affray.

Prosecutor David Traynor told the jury the trouble seemed to have had its origins in an allegation that someone had interfered with the mobility scooter used by a woman on the estate.

As a result Lowther and the 17-year-old confronted each other in a garden and what started as “a verbal exchange” quickly became a fight, with the two of them grappling on the floor, he said.

Blair and Currie then arrived by car, and Currie swung an extendable baton at the teenager who was armed with a golf club, the court heard.

PC Paula Dixon, who was at a nearby house on an unconnected inquiry, heard the “screaming and shouting” and went to investigate.

She told the jury she found about seven people standing in the road while Lowther and the 17-year-old were facing up to each other in the garden.

The teenager was standing with the golf club raised as if he was going to strike Lowther, who was facing him with blood pouring down his face, she said.

The fighting stopped when those involved saw her uniform, PC Dixon said.

The teenager was arrested at the scene, and the golf club he had been using was found in a house nearby, she said.

Blair, Currie and Lowther drove off but they were stopped soon afterwards by police who found the baton in their car.

The court heard that when interviewed by the police the 17-year-old and Lowther both blamed each other.

The teenager admitted going to confront Lowther but said he only used the golf club to defend himself when the other man punched him without warning.

Lowther said the youth had hit him with the golf club after he went to the area “just to see what was going on”.

The trial continues.

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