Dad interrupted romantic Valentine's Day date with wife to join in 'Wild West' violence caught on camera in Headingley bar

Leeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

A husband who interrupted a romantic Valentine's Day night out with his wife to join in a mass pub brawl that was caught on camera has been sent to prison.

Christopher Booth is the sixth man to be jailed over a 'Wild West' brawl between 21 men Arc Bar in Headingley.

Booth, 44, was the oldest of the defendants to appear in court over the incident on February 17 last year.

Twenty men - all aged in their 20s - were sentenced at Leeds Crown Crown Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to affray.
Booth fainted in the dock at the hearing and could not be sentenced after suffering a head wound and was taken to hospital.

He was locked up for six months when he returned to court the next day.

The court heard Booth did not know any of the men involved in the violence - which took place between two groups of young men - but decided to join in the fighting.

Booth, of Gamble Hill Rise, Bramley, was caught on camera kicking a man to the body while he was on the ground.

The footage also showed Booth's wife trying to restrain her husband.

The court heard Booth is a department store manager had been out for a meal with his partner for a belated Valentine's Day treat.

Booth's barrister, Stephen Welford, told the court his client had continued to drink after the meal and was unable to explain why he had joined in the violence.

Mr Welford said Booth had no previous convictions and was well respected in his local community as a rugby coach and charity fundraiser.

He added that his client had pleaded guilty to the affray charge at an early stage.

Mr Welford said Booth would lose his responsible job if he was sent to custody and his wife and children would also suffer financially.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, told Booth: "The question is: Why did you get involved?

"The answer is because you had been drinking.

"Now sober, you are remorseful.

"Now sober, you are ashamed of your behaviour.

"But those participating in this sort of public violence must receive a sentence not just to punish them but to deter others from following your example."

The judge added: "You knew what you were doing, and what you were doing was unprovoked mindless violence.

"You are not a naive. You are not some callow youth who got carried away in the heat of the moment. You are a mature man.

"There has, in my judgement, to be an immediate prison sentence."