Brothers jailed after bar rumpus

TWO Whithorn brothers were jailed at the court in Stranraer on Tuesday by Sheriff Alastair Brown after causing a disturbance at a pub in their home town.

Appearing for sentencing, Stephen Hoodless, 25, of 1E King’s Road, admitted striking John Flannighan over the head with a bar stool, and Scott Hoodless, 23, of St John’s Street, Whithorn, admitted shouting and swearing at Kerrie Flannighan on September 9 last year in the town’s Calcutta Inn.

Procurator fiscal William McKay told the court that the incident had started at around 9pm that evening when Scott Hoodless, who was banned from the premises, was seen trying to enter.

A member of staff, Kerrie Flannighan, immediately told him he was not allowed in but Scott Hoodless had then become abusive towards her and tried to push past her.

The incident involving Stephen Hoodless had kicked off inside the pub, said the procurator fiscal, when a female in Stephen Hoodless’s company had been assaulted and he had “taken retribution” on the other complainer, John Flannighan, whom Mr McKay described as “a well-built man”, by hitting him over the head with a bar stool, knocking him to the ground. After this the police were called to the scene.

Defending both men, solicitor Paul Feeney said that Scott Hoodless accepted he should not have been on the premises but it was the attitude of Ms Flannighan that had caused him to react the way he did, as she was shouting at him.

In Stephen Hoodless’s case, he had gone to the pub to have a quiet drink with his partner and family, explained the lawyer.

Seeing his brother getting involved in a rumpus he had gone to pacify him, said Mr Feeney, but he was then approached by Mr Flannighan.

Sensing trouble brewing, Stephen Hoodless’s partner had stepped in between them but she was pushed away by the complainer. This upset Stephen Hoodless so much he picked up a bar stool and hit Mr Flannighan over the head with it. This, said the lawyer, seemed to bring everyone to their senses and both accused left the pub “fairly smartly”.

The solicitor added that both men had got into bother when they were younger but both had taken steps to keep out of trouble since.

Sentencing, Sheriff Alastair Brown told Scott Hoodless that he was concerned that he seemed to see himself as the victim in this matter when the facts were he was banned from the pub and “had no business going there”. He added that despite a positive report from social workers, his previous convictions betrayed his a lack of what the sheriff described as a “pro-social attitude”. Scott Hoodless was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison.

Turning to Stephen Hoodless, the sheriff noted that he also had previous convictions and on this occasion had “taken up a weapon in the shape of a bar stool and used it”. Stephen Hoodless was jailed for 28 weeks. Both men were also banned from the Calcutta Inn in Whithorn for one year.