A messy pub fight that led to the use of capsicum spray by police has seen three men placed on court orders.
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The men in their 20s - Matthew Larkham, Ryan Tibbs and Tyrone McGregor - were at Dubbo Local Court on August 10, 2023 where they each pleaded guilty to affray and common assault.
Magistrate Gary Wilson said the men were "very lucky nothing further came of this" in relation to injuries.
"Affray can land you in prison which is what you could have been facing if you had records of violence," he said.
"It was alcohol infused but there's no need for this behaviour, let's hope you don't go down this road again."
Tibbs, a 25-year-old from Woodstock Street, Tamworth, along with Larkham, a 26-year-old from Edna Close, Kingswood and McGregor, a 26-year-old from Karloo Street, South Tamworth were at the Castlereagh Hotel on July 28, 2022 with a number of friends.
Throughout the evening, the three men drank a number of alcoholic drinks and by 9.20pm were told by staff they were cut off.
Tibbs went to the bar to argue with the staff, while the others stayed in the main bar section.
Shortly afterwards, a cup was thrown at a table, which hit a woman.
It was at this point an argument broke out.
Tibbs stepped between two men, putting his hand on the chest of one of them and pushing him back towards the bar.
After staff got involved, Tibbs tried to pull the man towards him as Larkham approached and punched the victim in the face.
Staff tried to break up the fight, again, and asked the group to leave.
But, Tibbs continued to abuse staff and the victim, who refused to shake his hand.
Tibbs then grabbed the man's jumper and pulled him closer.
Security got involved as did a number of witnesses, who tried to remove Tibbs from the area.
It was at this point an unknown man ran up to the group and kicked another person in the chest, sparking another set of brawls.
Tibbs approached the first victim, again, as Larkham took a boxing stance with staff.
Tibbs pushed and punched staff, who stood between the group and the victims, before he grabbed a stool and raised it above his shoulders.
McGregor continued to fight with security as Tibbs, Larkham and another man stood near the pub's front door.
Tibbs shouted abuse at staff and witnesses before he picked up a chair and gestured to throw it.
A second victim then approached Tibbs, who threw a chair at him. The two started to throw punches at each other before the second victim was pulled to the ground by McGregor. Tibbs ran to the second victim and kicked his head.
The group continued fighting with staff and patrons until police arrived and used capsicum spray to stop the fights.
Larkham fled the scene and ran up Brisbane Street before he turned into a private driveway, where he was caught by police.
He was arrested and taken to Dubbo Police Station, where they he was found with 0.02 grams of cocaine.
Tibbs also tried to push past police and exit the premises, but several witnesses and staff told police he was one of the main instigators.
He was then stopped by officers, who questioned his involvement.
He denied hitting anyone but said he pushed someone away from a friend.
Tibbs was taken to Dubbo Police Station where he was charged.
As police reviewed CCTV from the pub and identified McGregor, he too was arrested and taken to the station.
During sentencing in open court, solicitor Gabriella Harb described the night as "quite a mess".
When speaking about McGregor, Ms Harb said he left as was asked but only returned when he saw someone from his group was, allegedly, in a choke hold.
"There was a push and shove and while it doesn't meet self defence, he himself was kicked four times in the head," she said.
"It wasn't pretty."
Ms Harb said Larkham was another who left the pub and only went back to help a friend.
"Hands are flying in the CCTV footage, and you can see he had everyone coming at him," she said.
Ms Harb said Tibbs had been painted as the "main protagonist" but "it seems as though the main protagonist didn't get charged".
"He picked up chairs at various points to de-escalate the situation, it wasn't the right decision and in his letter of remorse he notes it was not the right way to go," she said.
Tibbs received a 12 month community correction order, while McGregor and Larkham received 12 month conditional release orders.
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