Darlington teenager threatens man with baseball bat following street fight

A TEENAGER threatened a man with a baseball bat after being “egged on” by ten of his friends, a court heard.

Rory Billy Joe Soley attempted to strike his victim with the bat following a fight on Clifton Road in Darlington at 3am on November 17.

John Garside, prosecuting at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court today (December 10), described how the 18-year-old had fought the victim on the street, while surrounded by his friends, who were egging him on.

“[The victim] tried to flee but the group chased him down the street and surrounded him to prevent him leaving the area,” said Mr Garside. “They were aggressive and threatening towards him.”

Soley, of Coleridge Gardens, Darlington, left the scene but returned seconds later, armed with a baseball bat.

“The victim attempted to run away but was once again surrounded by the group,” said Mr Garside. “As the situation escalated, members of the group tried to restrain Mr Soley and remove the baseball bat but he refused to give it up.

“Instead, he grabbed hold of the victim and pinned him against the wall, while preparing to strike him with the bat.”

The victim managed to break free and the police arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.

Soley, who has pleaded guilty to affray and possessing an offensive weapon, was caught and arrested.

Callum Terry, mitigating, said Soley had fallen in with a bad crowd.

“Alcohol was a clear trigger, as well as the peer pressure he felt he was under at the time,” said Mr Terry. “He accepted full responsibility right from the start, as he realises what he did was completely wrong.”

Leslie Abbott, chair of the magistrates, sentenced Soley to 13 weeks in custody but suspended it for two years.

During this time, Soley will be supervised by the Probation Service and must complete 100 hours of unpaid work and an alcohol awareness programme.

He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Mr Abbott warned Soley of the dangers of binge drinking, adding: “You are not stupid. You have good GCSEs and you know what is expected of you.

“Getting sloshed and standing in the middle of Clifton Road with a baseball bat is not a sensible thing to do.”

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