Teenagers given curfew and fined £5,000 for starting string of drunken fights in Northampton town centre

The boys took part in and started a string of brawls in Bridge Street and on the Drapery.
The boys took part in and started a string of brawls in Bridge Street and on the Drapery.

Five teenagers who broke a man's jaw and started fights "for no reason" on a night out in Northampton will spend the rest of the year curfewed at home.

The five lads, who were all 18 during the drunken attacks in August last year, were also handed hundreds of hours of unpaid work and will pay back a total of £5,750 in costs and compensation.

At Northampton Crown Court yesterday (July 7), His Honour Judge Roger Tregilgas-Davey told the boys he would give them "one chance" to stay out of trouble or spend two years in young offenders institutes.

He told them in sentencing: "If any of you breach this order you will be brought back to me and you will lose your liberty. Leave, before I change my mind."

Alfie Drage, Samuel Hillyard, Tom Mason, Billy Skelton and Liam Swann were arrested after a string of fights and an incident of GBH on a night out on Bridge Street.

The court how they picked fights "for no reason". At one point, a man who tried to help separate his friend from a fight was set upon by four of the boys who fractured his cheek and jaw.

Half-an-hour later on the Drapery, they kicked and punched another "defenceless" man who they forced to the floor. When a passerby tried to help him, they pushed him against a wall and beat him up too

The judge said: "You behaved like animals.

"When you punch and kick someone you never know how it's going to end. It is a matter of pure luck whether you cause life-changing injuries or even death."

Mason, Hillyard, Skelton and Swann, who pleaded guilty to GBH and affray, were given a suspended two-year sentence in a young offenders institute, 300 hours of unpaid work, a £1,250 fine each and curfew between 7pm and 6am for the next six months.

Drege, who pleaded guilty to affray, was given a suspended 12-month sentence, 200 hours unpaid work, a £750 fine and the same curfew.

The judge said he imposed the curfew "to cover all of summer and Christmas".