Traveller feud ended in brutal mob attack in Darlington - and it was all on camera

Braden Waite has been locked up for two years. Picture: DURHAM CONSTABULARY
Braden Waite has been locked up for two years. Picture: DURHAM CONSTABULARY

A member of the traveller community who turned up to a pre-arranged fight to settle a dispute was savagely beaten when he was set upon by a ‘mob’.

Braden Waite was tasked with the job of filming the violence which was then shared with the victim and his family as well as other members of the traveller community.

The victim was chased through a Darlington park by five men before being knocked to the ground where he was punched and kicked, suffering a ruptured spleen, a fractured cheek bone and three broken ribs.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the violence erupted after the gang turned up mob-handed at a park on Salters Lane on August 20, 2020.

Robert Stevenson, prosecuting, said the victim was expecting to fight Peter Harker one-on-one but was forced to attempt to flee when the five men jumped out of a car and chased him through Tommy Crocks Park.

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He added: “Realising it was a trap, he tried to flee but he was caught by one of the men, dragged to the floor and repeatedly punched and elbowed to the head, face and body.”

CCTV showed one of the men knock him back to ground as he tried to get up causing him to hit his face on the floor.

The court heard how the victim suffered a ruptured spleen; three fractured ribs; a fractured cheekbone and cuts to his face.

Mr Stevenson said that Waite's mobile phone footage was then sent to the victim's family and circulated around the local traveller community.

Braden Waite. Picture: DURHAM CONSTABULARY

Waite, of Borrowdale Street, Hetton-Le-Hole, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to a charge of affray.

Nicholas de la Poer, in mitigation, apologised for his client’s late arrival at court as he had taken his daughter to school knowing that he may not see her again for a while.

"This was an ugly piece of public disorder in a wide-open space - but it is not assault. The defendant took no part in the attack" Mr De La Poer added.

Judge Jonathan Carroll sentenced Waite to two years in prison for his role in the violence.

He said: "You had involved yourself with a mob after a member of the travelling community had fallen into conflict with somebody and wanted to resolve it by way of a fight.

“He anticipated a one-on-one fight but it wasn’t. It wasn’t intended to be like that, was it? It was intended to be a mob attack and you were there as part of that mob.

“You don't get to wash your hands of the violence used - you were the cameraman, you filmed and distributed within the community.”

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