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Christening party descends into 'wild west brawl' at Walsall pub

By Marion Brennan | Walsall | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A christening celebration descended into 'a scene from a wild west bar brawl' after a drunken customer started an argument with one of the guests, a court heard.

The Queen's Head in Bloxwich, where a christening party turned violent

Almost £1,000 of damage was caused when the gathering at a Walsall pub in 2016 descended into mayhem with punches being thrown and chairs being hurled.

CCTV footage of the disturbance was played to Stafford Crown Court, showing men brawling across the function room of The Queen's Head in Church Street, Bloxwich, as women and children scattered.

Mr Rupert Jones, prosecuting, said 30-year-old Thomas Keenan was seen staggering around the main bar before trying to get into the function room and was asked to leave.

An argument with one of the christening party started in the doorway and it became the catalyst for what followed, said Mr Jones.

Chairs were picked up and used as weapons as the violence escalated.

The licensee helped to lead women and children out of harm's way before calling the police.

Keenan and two family members were arrested after being identified on footage from the pub's security cameras.

The pub's takings were down by half for the two weeks following the disorder as customers either avoided the pub or assumed it was shut, the court heard.

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The licensee told police: "I couldn't believe the violence used, especially with families present.

"It was like a scene from a wild west bar brawl. I've never seen anything like it in 20 years in the pub trade."

Thomas Keenan, of Harden Road, Walsall, along with Michael Keenan, aged 27, of Chestnut Road, Walsall, and John Keenan, aged 28, of Broadmeadow Green, Bilston, Wolverhampton, all pleaded guilty to a charge of affray.

They were each given six-month prison sentences suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work in the community.

Passing sentence, Judge Shaun Smith, QC, described their behaviour as 'absolutely outrageous.'

All three were also ordered to pay £300 compensation each to the landlord of the pub.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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