Eight relatives jailed after turning wedding into 'bloodbath' mass brawl involving 40 guests

18 November 2022, 13:58 | Updated: 18 November 2022, 14:05

A ninth member of the family was also ordered to carry out community service
A ninth member of the family was also ordered to carry out community service. Picture: Cheshire Police
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Eight members of the same family have been jailed after a bloody brawl broke out at a wedding reception involving 60 guests.

The Stokes men, aged between 21 and 55, were attending a reception at the Daresbury Park Hotel in Runcorn, Warrington, when the brawl broke out. The eight family members threw chairs, tables and glasses at each other, and fire extinguishers as weapons.

The relatives caused around £16,000 in damage during the hotel scrap, where 150 were meant to be celebrating. A barman said he witnessed three men arguing at 11pm. Just 15 minutes later, around 40 men were brawling.

Police were initially unable to control the situation, so the brawl continued for another 45 minutes until back-up arrived. Fighting continued until the moment the men were detained.

Around 150 guests were meant to be celebrating at the wedding
Around 150 guests were meant to be celebrating at the wedding. Picture: Daresbury Park Hotel

Judge Simon Berkson said: "The events of that day were truly shocking to anyone who saw them. For those present and innocent, one can only imagine the fear.

"What should have been a happy occasion, a wedding, turned into a bloodbath. The suite was set up for a celebration, with a DJ playing music, people dancing and enjoying themselves. This came to an end when violence broke out."

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Detective Constable Sophie Davies said: “The disorder caused by these men in 30 minutes led to the function room, the items that were borrowed from a company as part of the wedding party and other areas of the hotel being completely destroyed at a cost of almost £15,000.

“The level of violence involved meant the officers who first attended to the hotel were unable to access the function room to bring the other guests, who were understandably shaken by what was happening, to safety due to having items thrown directly at them.

“The full extent of what happened was captured on CCTV footage from inside the hotel enabling us to see the full scale of the violence from start to finish and showed how much these men were intent on causing harm to each other as well as to others.”

Full jail terms

Four of the defendants appeared at Chester Crown court on Monday to be sentenced:

  • Edward William Stokes, of St Giles Street, New Bradwell, Milton Keynes, 28, was sentenced to 27 months' imprisonment.
  • Terry Stokes, of Princess Street, Winsford, 36, was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment.
  • Thomas Stokes, of Glazier Drive, Neath Hill, Milton Keynes, 40, was sentenced to 25 months' imprisonment.
  • Edward Stokes, of Kettle Avenue, Crewe, 50, was given a 16-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months and 100 hours unpaid work.

On Wednesday, a further five were sentenced:

  • John Stokes, 23, of Roseville Park, Antrim, was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment.
  • John Steven Stokes, 27, of Ruskin Road, Crewe was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment.
  • Stephen Stokes, 25 of Hume Street, Fairfield and Howley, was sentenced to 20 months' imprisonment.
  • Brian Stokes, 25, of Bradfield Road, Crewe, was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment.
  • Edward Joseph Stokes, 21, of Kettell Avenue, Crewe, was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment.