Three men have been sentenced after a brawl on Bristol Bridge involving stabbing, punching and a “flying kick”.

Brothers Matthew and Daniel Vowles, aged 29 and 21, fought David Spicer, 30, in a booze-fuelled bust-up at 2.30am on June 9, 2018.

The brothers, both of Silcox Road in Hartcliffe, and Spicer, of Summerhill in Totterdown, appeared at Bristol Crown Court on March 4.

Matthew and Daniel Vowles were handed community orders after admitting affray, but Spicer was jailed for two months, having been found guilty of the same offence at trial.

Two other brawlers, Chauncy White and Lace Curnow, were given community orders last year after admitting affray.

Prosecutor Lucy Taylor said: “There was a fight on Bristol Bridge. Alcohol was involved.

“At various points the defendants could be described as victims and perpetrators.

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“Mr Spicer ended up on the floor at one point, on the receiving end of kicks and punches from the Vowles brothers.

“At another point, Matthew Vowles was on the floor, receiving kicks and punches from Mr Spicer.”

‘He tried to frighten them away’

Recorder Benjamin Browne QC said the initial aggressors were the Vowles brothers.

He added: “As the fight progressed across the bridge, Mr Spicer came into possession of a knife, which he had been given by one of the bystanders.

“He then brandished it at the two brothers. He tried to frighten them away, but it didn’t work and he was disarmed.”

Rupert Russell, representing Spicer, said Matthew Vowles stabbed his client in the thigh.

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Mr Russell explained Chauncy White then delivered a “flying kick” to the head of Matthew Vowles, who was floored by the strike.

Tabby MacFarlane, representing Matthew Vowles, added her client had been hit with “something like a karate kick” by White.

“Matthew Vowles fell to the ground and Mr Spicer, no longer acting in self-defence, started kicking him,” Recorder Browne said.

Mr Russell said the fighting was “mercifully” broken up by other people who were in the area.

He described the cuts and scratches left on Matthew Vowles’ back by Spicer’s kicks as “fairly minor”.

Recorder Browne said Spicer sustained a “serious” wound to his thigh due to the stabbing.

‘Ashamed’

The 19-year-old fell into the water near Bristol Bridge (pictured)
Bristol Bridge (pictured)

Ms MacFarlane said: “Matthew is ashamed of what he has done.

“He is living in a friend’s spare room to save money. His current partner has just had a little girl.

“The probation service believes he has a good prospect of being rehabilitated.”

She said the “hardworking” roofer takes home £400 a week and cares for his daughter.

Matthew Comer, defending Daniel Vowles, told the court: “My client had originally taken the position he was acting in defence of his brother.

“Having seen the CCTV, we both agreed his actions went far beyond self-defence.”

He revealed the labourer is looking for work, adding: “A custodial sentence on his record would look far worse to a potential employer than a community order for affray.”

Handing down sentences, Recorder Browne said: “The three of you, together with two others, became involved in an episode of serious street violence on both sides of Bristol Bridge.”

He described Matthew Vowles as the “principal aggressor”.

Extra jail time

Spicer, previously convicted of battery and driving while disqualified, is serving a jail term of two years and four months.

He was set for release in July this year, but Recorder Browne today sentenced him to a further two months in prison.

Matthew Vowles has previous convictions for robbery, attempted robbery, carrying a weapon in public and criminal damage.

He was handed a six-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, 150 hours of unpaid work and 10 days of rehab. He must pay £350.

His brother, who has no previous convictions, was given a three-month jail term suspended for a year, 80 hours of unpaid work and 10 days of rehab.

Chauncy White, of Barton Hill, admitted affray on September 9 last year at Bristol Magistrates’ Court, where the 20-year-old was ordered to pay £85 and do 20 days of rehab.

And Lace Curnow, of Summerhill in Totterdown, admitted the offence at the same court on September 17.

The 19-year-old was ordered to pay £85 and do 30 days of rehab.

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