Chaos erupts in pub as traveller families clash in 'horror' scenes

-Credit: (Image: GMP)
-Credit: (Image: GMP)

Chaos erupted in a pub as a feud between two traveller families turned violent. Two members of the Joyce family have been jailed for the 'horror' that unfolded in the Vine pub in Collyhurst, after Joyces and members of the Doherty family clashed.

Dougie Joyce, 36, and his brother Tom Joyce, 27, were both handed jail sentences for violent disorder after trouble broke out for about half an hour. Manchester Crown Court heard that the shocking incident ended with two members of the Doherty family being taken to hospital after suffering ‘significant injuries’.

The two families had attended the pub as part of a wake following the death of two young men who were part of the traveller community. It marks the latest episode in the long running feud between the families. Prosecutors told 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.

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At one point Tom Joyce grabbed a bottle of beer inside the pub and smashed it, before wielding it. As trouble spilled out onto the car park, Tom Joyce continued to be armed with the bottle and as a fight broke out, 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 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 bundled into a car and taken to the 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 Joyce
Dougie Joyce -Credit:Dougie Joyce/Instagram

Tom Joyce was sentenced to 22 months in prison, while Dougie was handed a 13 month jail term. Both will serve half of their sentences behind bars.

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 the Northern Quarter. 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 Vine pub in Collyhurst -Credit:MEN
The Vine pub in Collyhurst -Credit:MEN

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.

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, of Rylstone Avenue, Chorlton, and Dougie Joyce, of Quayside Close, Salford, both admitted violent disorder.