Gang inflicted 'ferocious group attack' on reveller leaving Rock City

GV of Rock City on Talbot Street, in Nottingham
-Credit: (Image: Nottingham Post / Picture It)

A gang of young men carried out what a prosecutor called “a ferocious group attack” on a reveller outside Rock City in Nottingham city centre. CCTV showed Alexander Blackham, Christopher Blackham, Kyle Parkin and Evan Porter follow the victim up Talbot Street before punching and kicking him in the street and leaving him with a fractured face.

The man’s girlfriend was also injured as she tried to stop the assault by taking a kick which had been aimed at her partner’s head. And in a victim impact statement, the man told how his depression and anxiety was “exacerbated” by his ordeal.

Sentencing the quartet, three of whom are from Derby and Derbyshire, at Nottingham Crown Court, judge Julie Warburton said: “This is a serious case of group violence in the city centre against essentially a lone male, who was with his girlfriend, by the four of you acting together. While I can’t say for certain you waited for him outside the club, it is clear that having seen him and his girlfriend leave you walked up the road and targeted him. Kicking and punching him as he lay defenceless on the ground.

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“It was, frankly and utterly, cowardly and he suffered injuries which have had a profound long-term effect on him.” Luc Chignell, prosecuting, said the incident took place outside Rock City, in Talbot Street, in the early hours of December 19, 2021.

He said: “This was a ferocious group attack. Earlier in the evening the Blackham group had been behaving in a boisterous and rowdy way confronting the victim and slapping him a couple of times on the backside.

“Each of the groups threw drinks at each other and the victim and his girlfriend reported it to the staff and the Blackham group were removed from the club just before 2.50am. The group waited outside and at kicking out time (3am) the victim and his girlfriend left and were followed by the group.

“It was no coincidence their paths crossed, they confronted the victim and called him ‘a snitch’ and there was a melee. (The girlfriend) was injured when she tried to intervene, in particular being struck by a kick aimed at the head of (her boyfriend).

“It ultimately ended when staff from Rock City became involved and the defendants ran away entirely.” Mr Chignell said it took the police a number of months to identify those who became involved and that the victim was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre to be treated for his injuries.

He said there it was discovered his face had been fractured. In a victim impact statement, he said he was working as a courier across Rutland and had been earning £2,700 per month but the time he took off work affected his earnings.

He said: “I had to isolate myself for days because the injuries were so visible and I had suffered severe depression and anxiety for years and this attack only exacerbated that.”

Alexander Blackham, 23, of Severn Street, Alvaston, Derby, pleaded guilty to maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was handed a 16-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 100 hours unpaid work and 12 rehabilitation sessions. Adam White, defending, said: “He is a man of previous good character and this has been hanging over him for a long time. He is a man with good employment earning £70,000-a-year as a software engineer.”

Christoper Blackham, 22, also of Severn Street, Alvaston, also pleaded guilty to maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended for 18 months, with 100 hours unpaid work. Mark Knowles, his barrister said: “He pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court and he confessed to the police when he was identified. He does not normally drink and he does not drink at all now. He works away a lot for a company that does sports lighting at sports events

Parkin, 27, of Culworth Place, Belper, pleaded guilty to affray and to a separate and unrelated charge of being concerned in the supply of cannabis which arose out of analysis of his mobile phone after his arrest. He was jailed for two years, suspended for 18 months, with 100 hours unpaid work and 20 rehabilitations sessions..Stefan Fox, mitigating, said: “We are almost two-and-a-half years on, he has no previous convictions and up until three months ago he was working in the hospitality sector before he, sadly, lost his job. He knows the sword hangs precariously over his head.”

And Porter, 31, of Keyworth Drive, Forest Town, Mansfield, also pleaded guilty to maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was handed a 21-month jail term, suspended for 18 m months, with 60 hours unpaid work. Dan Scothern, defending, said: “This is two-and-a-half years ago and he has not been in any trouble during that time.”

Three of the men were ordered to pay £500 compensation.