Woman on trial after parties end in brawl

MHBG-28-06-12 Duke of Wellington Pub GV  The Duke of Wellington Pub on Warwick Road, Banbury
MHBG-28-06-12 Duke of Wellington Pub GV The Duke of Wellington Pub on Warwick Road, Banbury

The trial of a 33-year-old woman accused of kicking and punching a victim and her father during a pub brawl opened at Oxford Crown Court on Monday.

Gemma Vint, of Franklin Street, Hull, had previously pleaded not guilty to one count of causing actual bodily harm and one count of affray, both with other unknown persons, at the Duke of Wellington pub in Warwick Road, Banbury on June 23, 2012.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Georgina Gibbs told the jury how the Vint and Wilkins families had agreed to share the pub for 60th birthday celebrations for Paul Vint Senior and Linda Wilkins. The pub landlady agreed to the arrangement as the families were regulars and she believed them to be friends.

The Wilkins family arrived first at about 3.30pm and proceeded to enjoy a barbecue in the back yard, but the Duke of Wellington landlady believed members of the Vint family to be drunk when they arrived at the pub later in the afternoon.

The atmosphere began to turn when Gemma Vint, dressed in a tartan jacket and sporting a mohican, took the microphone for karaoke and began to chant “I am the fight starter” during a rendition of the Prodigy song “I am the fire starter”.

Paul Vint Senior was allegedly told he could not take part in karaoke by a member of the Wilkins party and decided his family should leave. Fights then broke out between “different pockets of people” and by the time PC Paul Froggatt arrived he saw 30-40 people outside the pub with six-ten males fighting each other.

Giving evidence, Laura Hill with the Wilkins party said she saw two “northern” girls, one matching Miss Vint’s appearance, around Joanna Wilkins punching and kicking her while she was on the ground. Miss Wilkins sustained facial injuries which required 11 stitches between her nose and lip.

Miss Vint then allegedly grabbed Miss Wilkins’ father Richard when he was “coming to his daughter’s aid” and kicked him inside his thigh as “complete mayhem” broke out.

Russell Wilkins, 28, of Prescott Close, Banbury, pleaded guilty to an offence of common assault on January 10 in connection with the same incident and was ordered to pay £250 compensation and £85 costs.