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Wingate brothers jailed for revenge attack outside Easington pub on 'wrong man'
Updated 6:22pm Monday 6th January 2014 in By Bruce Unwin, Chief Reporter (Durham)
TWO brothers were each jailed for 27 months for a late night revenge attack”on a man they suspected had taken part in an earlier assault on one of the pair.
But Durham Crown Court heard that they mistakenly picked on “the wrong man”.
Jonathan Devlin, prosecuting, said Craig Turnbull was attacked by others sharing a minibus taxi home from the Durham Miners’ Gala (Big Meeting), following a dispute about the fare.
He was joined by older brother Darren Turnbull among four family members who later went in two cars to the Village Inn, at Easington Village, seeking those responsible for the attack.
As they reached the pub, Craig Turnbull approached a man standing outside the premises, asking if he had been to the ‘Big Meeting’ earlier.
Although he replied: “Not me”, Craig and Darren Turnbull attacked him, thrusting him into the road, where he was punched several times, falling unconscious.
A female relative of the victim was also struck by Craig Turnbull when she tried to intervene.
They left the victim lying on the road, went into the pub and then departed in the two cars.
But they were arrested after being identified through the car registration numbers.
The victim needed 27 stitches to numerous facial injuries and was left with blurred vision plus a scar on his forehead.
Mr Devlin said police confirmed the victim was not among those involved in the earlier incident.
Craig Turnbull, 19, and 27-year-old, Darren Turnbull, both of Roxby Wynd, Wingate, admitted wounding with intent. Craig Turnbull also admitted common assault on the woman.
Defence barristers Bob Spragg and Tony Cornberg said both were “shocked” and “ashamed” at their actions, which were, however, “short-lived”, stopping when they realised the victim was unconscious.
Mr Spragg said Craig Turnbull genuinely thought the 18-year-old man was among those who attacked him earlier.
Jailing them, Recorder Jamie Hill said: “You set out looking for those who caused your (Craig’s) injuries.
“Violence was always likely to follow.
“Even if the victim had been responsible for the earlier attack the courts can’t allow people to take the law into their own hands.
“Alcohol-fuelled revenge is always unacceptable.”
• A third brother, 32-year-old Barry Turnbull, also of Roxby Wynd, who drove one of the cars to the scene, was given a 12-month community order, with 80-hours’ unpaid work and £500 costs, after admitting assisting an offender at a previous hearing.