‘Strong message’ sent as nine jailed for Goodwood brawl

Nine men have been given prison sentences for their involvement in a raceday brawl.

A total of 11 men were convicted of offences related to the fight, at Goodwood racecourse on 5 May 2018.

Four people were seriously injured on the opening day of Goodwood’s summer evening fixture list last year. Shocking footage shared on social media at the time showed a man being kicked in the side of the head as he lay on the ground.

The final hearings ended on Tuesday (12 November) at Guildford Crown Court. The longest sentence was 24 months and the group will serve a combined total of more than nine years.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has excluded all 11 from the sport, meaning they cannot enter any racecourse or premises licensed by the authority, such as a training yard.

The exclusions are for an “indefinite period”, but a minimum of three years.

“A day at the races is a fun, safe and relaxing day out that is suitable for all the family,” said Chris Watts, BHA head of integrity, following the conclusion of the hearings.

“The sport will not tolerate any incidents of serious anti-social behaviour and, in this case, gratuitous violence.

“On the very rare occasions it does occur, we will work collaboratively with the police and the racecourses to ensure that the appropriate action is taken against the individuals involved.”

Adam Waterworth, managing director of sport at Goodwood racecourse, added that the sentences send out a “strong message”.

“We are delighted that the evidence we provided has helped secure an appropriately serious sentence for the perpetrators of this incident,” he said.

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“We take a zero-tolerance stance on anti-social behaviour here at Goodwood, and to support this, we installed an extensive CCTV network across the course a few years ago, which helped us provide clear footage to Sussex police of the incident.

“This sends out a strong message to the public – anti-social behaviour is not welcome at Goodwood, and we will continue to be vigilant so racegoers can enjoy the best possible experience when they come racing with us.”

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