Chaos erupts between two traveller families in 'horror' scenes at pub

Dougie Joyce
-Credit: (Image: GMP)

Two members of traveller families have been caged after a violent feud caused chaos to erupt in a pub.

Dougie Joyce, 36, and his brother Tom Joyce, 27, were both jailed for violent disorder after trouble broke out for about half an hour between the Joyces and Dohertys.

A court heard that the shocking incident ended up with two members of the Doherty family being rushed to hospital with 'significant injuries'.

The disorder happened when the two families had attended the Vine pub in Collyhurst, near Manchester, the MEN reports.

The two families visited the watering hole as part of a wake following the death of two young men who were part of the traveller community.

The incident marked the latest episode in the long running feud between the rival families.

Prosecutors told Manchester Crown Court how trouble began at about 5pm on Friday, October 2, 2020. They said footage from the pub showed signs of conflict and verbal rows before it turned violent about 20 minutes later, with two groups of about 10 young men forming distinct groups.

Trouble spilled out onto the car park, after Tom Joyce had grabbed a bottle of beer inside the pub and smashed it, before wielding it. Tom Joyce continued to be armed with the bottle as a fight broke out, and he struck a member of the Doherty family to the face with it, the court heard. He could be seen to be ‘covered in copious amounts of blood’, as Joyce was then assaulted by others himself.

Dougie Joyce
Dougie Joyce -Credit:Instagram

Dougie Joyce also smashed a bottle in the build up, but did not use it and dropped it. He armed himself with a plastic pipe and threw it at another man, prosecutor Constance Halliwell said.

The injured men were rushed to Manchester Royal Infirmary. They refused to provide statements to police, and the two Joyces were interviewed the following year and answered no comment to questions.

Dougie was already serving a 19 month sentence for causing grievous bodily harm after launching a sickening attack on a 78-year-old man in a pub in Manchester. His victim was left bloodied and bruised after being punched three times to the face and head during a row in October 2022.

Dougie was due to be released from that sentence in about a week, but will likely have to serve another six months behind bars. The judge noted a ‘pattern of violent offending’ in his case when dismissing the appeal made by Dougie’s lawyer for him to receive a suspended sentence. Recorder Karen Ridge said the footage from the pub depicted ‘the story of the horrors that unfolded’ that day.

The judge said she accepted there was an ‘element of provocation’ and that Dougie, a married dad-of-two, had said he was trying to protect younger members of the family. Dougie Joyce’s barrister Wayne Jackson said that he admitted smashing a bottle but had an ‘epiphany’ and dropped it, realising his actions were ‘incredibly stupid’. He said that the footage did not show him fighting with anyone.

Mr Jackson added: “There is an extraordinary number of people involved in this incident, the only two people charged as a result of that evening, though the CCTV is in very clear technicolour, are the two defendants in the dock today.”

He said that testimonials submitted on Mr Joyce’s behalf described him as ‘upstanding’ and of ‘good moral standing’, adding that he had been involved with helping the homeless and with food banks.

The Vine Pub
The Vine Pub -Credit:MEN

Tom Joyce’s barrister Richard Bridgen said that his client had not been an ‘instigator’ and claimed he was ‘peripheral’ in the fracas. He said that Mr Joyce had spent time in prison for a previous offence and came out a ‘changed man’.

Both defence lawyers appealed for prison sentences to be suspended, but the judge said the case was too serious, noting that it involved ‘widespread and large scale acts of violence’. Tom Joyce, and Dougie Joyce both admitted violent disorder.

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