Gang involved in 'shocking amounts of violence' jailed after pub brawl leaves 69-year-old victim in hospital for a month

PUBLISHED: 13:31 03 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:58 04 April 2017

Ricky Blackwell

Ricky Blackwell


During a string of incidents, one man was stabbed, another left with a broken jaw. The pensioner was viciously beaten up

Aaron SmithAaron Smith

Four men have been sentenced following a pub brawl in Chatham which saw a 69-year-old man seriously injured.

In what ended up as a series of incidents, the victim was left in hospital for a month being treated for his injuries in what police describe as “shocking amounts of violence”.

All four appearing in Maidstone Crown Court were jailed.

The evening of violence began between 9.20pm and 9.40pm on September 21 last year.

It saw Ricky Blackwell, 24, of The Grove in Swanscombe, get into a fight in the smoking area of the Wheatsheaf pub in Swanscombe High Street.

He punched another man in the face, leaving him with two serious fractures to the jaw.

He then left the pub and got into a car driven by the 69-year-old. They drove to Churchill’s pub in The Brook, Chatham, arriving at around 2.15am.

Blackwell then got out of the car holding a knife and an altercation took place between him and Barry Pozzoli, 28, of Military Road, Chatham.

The two men confronted each other and this resulted in Blackwell stabbing Pozzoli in the left leg. Blackwell then returned to the car and drove away - leaving the 69-year-old at the scene.

Aaron Smith, 22, of The Brook, and Jason Holmes, 45, of Wood Court in Sheerness, then threw a glass bottle at the car being driven by Blackwell before punching the 69-year-old man, in the back of the head.

This caused the man to fall to the ground and Smith then kicked him as he lay on the floor.

Holmes then approached the victim and shouted abuse at him as Smith kicked him to the body.

Members of the public intervened and attempted to walk the man away from the two attackers. However, Holmes follows and barges him to the floor. He then kicks and stamps on his head.

Smith then approached the man and forcefully dragged him along the floor, before Holmes again stamped on the victim’s head before kicking him.

The victim sustained serious internal injuries and was taken to a London hospital for treatment. He was discharged a month later.

Blackwell was sentenced to nine years imprisonment after pleading guilty to a grievous bodily harm with intent and grievous bodily harm without intent. He will serve a further five years on an extended licence.

Smith was sentenced to two years after pleading guilty to a grievous bodily harm with no intent.

Holmes was sentenced to five years and four months after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent.

Pozzoli was sentenced to six months after pleading guilty to assault and a public order offence.

Detective Sergeant Lynn Lewis, from Kent Police, said: “The offenders in this case have subjected their victims to shocking amounts of violence and it is fortunate that the results were not as serious as we feared they could have been at the time.

“Their actions are completely reprehensible and the sentences imposed are entirely appropriate.”

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