Father and two sons admit affray after Appleby horse fair trouble

Bernard McGinley

A father and two of his sons have admitted an affray charge after trouble flared at this year’s Appleby horse fair.

Police initially made seven arrests after fighting broke out outside the town’s Grapes pub, on The Sands, during the late afternoon of Friday, 13th August.

Several people were reported to have sustained injuries. One man was initially thought to have suffered facial fractures although his injuries were later said to have been limited to cuts and bruises.

At Carlisle Crown Court today, Bernard McGinley, 44, who has 10 children overall, appeared in the dock alongside his two adult sons — Cornelius, 22, and 19-year-old Barney.

All denied a charge alleging violent disorder, instead pleading guilty to a charge of affray.

No details were given in court about the incident, and Judge Nicholas Barker adjourned the case for the preparation of probation service pre-sentence reports in respect of all three defendants.

In addition, a psychological report will be commissioned on behalf of Barney McGinley, whose barrister, Judith McCullough, said: “He has certain learning difficulties.”

Barristers representing the trio also each applied, successfully, for previously imposed bail conditions to be amended.

Judge Barker agreed Cornelius and Barney no longer had to report regularly to a police station; and ruled that their father should not have to wear an electronically monitored tag.

In his application to the judge, David Taylor, for Bernard McGinley, said removal of that tag would allow the defendant to carry out long-distance driving duties which required overnight stays. “He can drive lorries up to eight tonnes. Given the shortage of lorry drivers and his particular financial situation, the removal of the tag would allow him to go back to work and provide for his 10 children,” said Mr Taylor, who added that McGinley’s wife suffered from ill health.

Bernard McGinley and Barney McGinley, of Shelford Road; and Cornelius McGinley, of Hollywall Lane, both in Stoke-on-Trent, were granted bail with one of the conditions prohibiting the three men from contacting prosecution witnesses in the case.They are due to be sentenced at the crown court on 5th November.

*All three defendants pleaded not guilty alleged assaults on two males — a father and his teenage son. A prosecutor said those charges would lie on the court file in due course, with the affray admissions being an acceptable resolution of the case.

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