TWO thugs have avoided serious assault charges after a street brawl erupted outside a pub in Northwich. 

Morgan Hughes, of Ash Road, Sandiway, and Kane Ode, of Meadow Road, Winsford, were on opposite sides of a gang fight outside the Quayside pub on Witton Street in Northwich on Saturday, March 11.

CCTV footage from the pub shows Hughes, a third dan black belt karate champion, sitting with several other men on a bench outside. 

Ode, 21, then appears and is shown squaring-up to an unidentified man in Hughes’ party, before punching him in the head and kicking him in the legs.

A street brawl then erupted, during which Hughes, 23, is clearly shown punching a second unidentified man in the head three or four times.

The man dropped to the ground and lay still, but Hughes pivoted and kicked him in the head as he lay on the floor, ‘to finish him off’, according to prosecutor Andrew Page.

Hughes and Ode both appeared before Chester magistrates for sentencing on Tuesday, October 24, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to one count each of using threatening behaviour with the intent to provoke unlawful violence.

The chairman of the bench said: “The only reason you’re not facing more serious assault charges is that no complainants came forward.”

Hughes, who was undefended in court, told police at interview he was ‘seven out of 10 drunk’ at the time, and had taken ‘a couple of keys’ of cocaine.

He claims his kick to the victim’s head ‘was an accident’.

He has no previous convictions, but did received a conditional caution for assault in 2019.

Kane Ode’s solicitor, Alan Williams, said his client’s attack was provoked by an assault on one of his friends in the town centre earlier that evening.

Mr Williams said Ode punched and kicked his victim only while he was standing, adding his client suffered a fractured eye socket in the fight.

He said: "Mr Ode accepts he had alcohol, and if he hadn’t, he would never have become involved in the incident.

"Though the probation service say his alcohol use is no cause for concern, the recommend an alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement be considered as part of his sentence. 

Ode has one previous youth court conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm in 2018.

Sentencing, magistrates handed Hughes a 12-month community order, including 160 hours unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £120 court costs, and a £114 victim surcharge.

Ode was also given a 12-month community order, including 15 days of rehabilitation activities.

He was also order not to drink alcohol for 90 days and will be fitted with an alcohol monitoring tag.

Ode must also pay £120 court costs, and a £114 victim surcharge.