A JUDGE has told two fathers to stop acting like animals and to behave as fathers of young children should.

Recorder Tim Roberts QC was sentencing Michael and Richard Powell for their part in a late night drunken brawl on October 10 that left a man in hospital needing 11 stitches to head injuries.

As one of the fathers nearly broke down in tears in the dock at York Crown Court, the judge told both: “I have watched aghast at that video of the two of you engaging in public brawling in a public street to the consternation and disgust of others who were lawfully going about their business. You behaved like animals.”

Barristers for both the men pleaded with the judge not to lock the two men up, saying that they had young children who needed their help.

Michael Powell, 28, of Burdyke Avenue, Clifton, was the sole carer for his children and the injury to victim Gregory Tassell had come from a single punch at the end of the incident in Blake Street, York Crown Court heard.

He bitterly regretted what he had done, the court heard.

Richard Powell, 30, of Ings View, Rawcliffe, was the only breadwinner for his family of four because his partner was on maternity leave.

The judge told them: “What thought were you giving to the responsibilities you had to those children on that day.? None whatsoever, and yet you come here today, saying “What about the responsibilities to my family?

“It is time you grew up and took on responsibility every day, not to put it to one side and get drunk and get involved in fights.”

Michael Powell, who admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Taskell was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, on condition that he did a 25-session rehabilitation programme, two years’ supervision and 200 hours’ unpaid work.

Richard Powell, who admitted affray, was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months on condition that he did 12 months’ supervision, 100 hours’ unpaid work and ten sessions at curbing his binge drinking.

The judge told them they were both quite capable of staying out of prison.