Nice day for a fight wedding: Defenceless woman punched and kicked in head by bride’s brother in a wedding night brawl
A vicious attack by the brother of a bride saw a defenceless woman on a romantic break punched and kicked in the head.
Bride Jessica Franklin was enjoying her big day at Bosworth Hall Hotel, Leics when a brawl broke out involving her brother, her new husband and members of the wedding party.
Brother to the bride Joshua Waddingham, 21 from Whitwick, Leics, attacked Rebecca Rankin and her fiance Paul Gurney, who were on a romantic break at the same hotel.
Rebecca was hit by Waddingham as she pulled Paul from a “disgusting” assault.
Rebecca had stepped in to protect her fiancé from being repeatedly punched and kicked Ian Franklin, the groom, and Waddingham, the bride’s brother.
Paul Gurney suffered a badly broken ankle, requiring two operations, and Rebecca a bloody nose and black eyes in the attack at Bosworth Hall Hotel, Leics, on December 22 2013.
Franklin, 31, from Whitwick, Leics, and his brother-in-law were joined in the assault by wedding guests James Sharman, 27, and his 21-year-old wife, Chloe.
Waddingham – “who took the lead” in the violence – was given a two-year jail sentence, suspended for two years, at Leicester Crown Court.
He was also given 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to Paul and £250 to Rebecca after admitting causing grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm respectively.
Judge Nicholas Dean QC, presiding, said: “This was an utterly disgraceful episode on what should have been a day of happiness for everyone involved.”
Sarah Lloyd, prosecuting, said the “atmosphere changed” in the hotel bar when the victims had a disagreement with wedding guests.
Paul suffered a cut ear in a minor tussle in the toilets before trouble reignited and he threw a table, which did not hit anyone, “to protect himself”.
Miss Lloyd said: “Waddingham punched at Paul Gurney, who fell to the floor.
“Ian Franklin and James Sharman became involved, kicking and punching him to his head and body as he lay on the floor.”
Paul Gurney had his ankle stamped upon during the fracas as the bride, Jessica tried to pull her loved ones from the melee.
Rebecca Rankin went to intervene, shouting: “Are you going to hit me now?”
Miss Lloyd said: “Waddingham punched her at least twice to the face in quick succession, causing her to fall, where he hit her again and kicked her head.
“As both complainants were laid out on the floor, Chloe Sharman kicked in the direction of their heads on three occasions as the bride attempted to pull the defendants away.”
Paul Gurney needed two operations on his ankle and was unable to walk for six weeks.
The three male defendants admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm on Paul and Chloe Sharman admitted affray.
Franklin and James Sharman were both given 12-month jail sentences, suspended for two years, with 150 hours of unpaid work. Each must pay £750 compensation to Mr Gurney.
Chloe Sharman was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Dean said to the defendants: “It may be Mr Gurney and, to an extent, Miss Rankin contributed to what happened, but to a much lesser extent than you.”
Gareth Weetman, mitigating for Waddingham, said: “He’s genuinely ashamed. It’s unclear who started the second flashpoint – there was aggression on both sides.
“It lasted 30 seconds to a minute, but had a profound effect upon all involved.”
Rachel Darby, for Franklin, said: “It was a combination of drink and emotion. He had a natural desire to protect his wife on her wedding day.”
Miss Darby, also representing Chloe Sharman, said: “She was the least involved and not responsible for any injuries.”
Ben Isaacs, for James Sharman said: “He’s since matured and won’t appear before the court again.