York men jailed for attack outside Castle Howard Ox pub

THREE York men who joined in a sustained violent attack at a city pub have been given custodial sentences and a fourth has had his jail sentence suspended.

Jack Small, 22, of Dodsworth Avenue, Reece Sandford, 21, of Scarcroft Road, Thomas Smith, 19, of Middleham Avenue, and Matthew Cooper, 25, of Kirkham Avenue, all appeared before York Crown Court yesterday, to be sentenced for their part in the attack outside the Castle Howard Ox public house, in Townend Street.

On Monday, as The Press reported, Ryan Lewis MacLeod, 22, was sentenced to ten years in prison for an attack on Gavin Leedham, 33, and Graham Sanderson, 50, who were out for an after-work drink when they were punched, kicked and elbowed.

The court heard yesterday how Small was seen on CCTV “stamping” on Mr Leedham while he was on the ground.

Sandford threw a single punch during the incident, Smith also stamped on Mr Leedham while he was on the ground, and Cooper punched Mr Sanderson in the stomach. Small, Sandford and Smith all pleaded guilty to GBH, while Cooper admitted assault.

The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told the court the principal troublemaker that day was Ryan MacLeod, but the four defendants played a part in the assault.

He said: “The four of you, however, contributed to what I judge to be an extremely serious case of public violence.

“The two victims were entirely innocent men. They had done none of you any wrong and did nothing to provoke the violence that happened.

“It is important for the court to step back and look at these events through the eyes of the public and I am quite convinced if any member of your families had been attacked violently by a group of men in no good reason in such circumstances you would be first in the queue asking for a custodial sentence.”

Small and Sandford were each jailed for 15 months, while Smith was sent to a young offenders’ institution, also for 15 months. Cooper was given a four-month sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

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