Father-of-10 and two of his sons sentenced for Appleby Horse Fair violence

Bernard McGinley, 44, of Stoke-on-Trent, who was sentenced in Carlisle Crown Court today. Credit: Craig McGlasson

A father-of-10 and two of his sons have been sentenced by a judge for taking part in an Appleby horse fair attack which involved the use of weapons as a feud between families spilled over into violence.

Carlisle Crown Court heard today how Bernard McGinley, 44, waded in with multiple punches after Cornelius McGinley, 22, and 19-year-old Barney McGinley “took matters into their own hands” outside the town’s Grapes pub, on The Sands, on 13th August this year. They lashed out at two other males after an alleged slight was made against a young female family member.

The two victims were another father and his 14-year-old son, who were trying to sell a horse when a group of eight or nine men approached and told them to “get off the fair”.

That included the younger McGinleys, who went into the pub before emerging 20 minutes later. On a busy street, the 14-year-old was struck to the face, stomach and head; was kicked while on the floor and hit with a metal bar while desperately fighting back.

The incident took place at this year's Appleby Horse Fair.

Police arrived and detained the two brothers. Prosecutor Helena Williams told the court: “Bernard lifted his left arm and struck (the man) to the back of his head four times.” The man recalled hearing Bernard shout “get out this fair, I’ll murder the two of you” and also “I run this fair”.

The man attended hospital, underwent a CT scan which showed a facial fracture and suffered a laceration to the back of his head which was glued.

In an impact statement, he said: “Since this incident my mental health has severely been affected. I no longer like to leave the house as I feel terrified for my life.” He added: “I truly am fearful of the McGinley family and what they may be capable of.”

His son suffered more minor injuries.

All three McGinleys admitted affray and had spent time in custody on remand.

“It is distressing to see three members of the same family in the dock at the same time,” said Recorder Mark Ainsworth as he passed sentence. “Here we have a father and his two sons. It is not how it should be.”

The judge added:

Bernard McGinley, of of Shelford Road, Stoke-on-Trent, had an eight-month jail term suspended for a year. Cornelius McGinley, of Hollywall Lane, Stoke-on-Trent, and Barney McGinley, also of Shelford Road, Stoke-on-Trent, received 12 month community orders.

All three men were ordered to complete 200 hours’ unpaid work and banned for contacting the two victims in any way for six months.