FOUR Wrexham plumbing and heating firm employees – including the company boss – have received suspended prison sentences for a boozed-up brawl outside Chester Racecourse just before Christmas.

Daniel Roth, the boss of the company, employees Matthew Pritchard and Jarad Taylor and former employee Kieron Morris, all admitted their part in the fight, which happened in the car park of Chester Racecourse just after midnight on December 22, 2018.

It left their two victims – Barry Burns and Daniel Richards – with a broken ankle and a fractured cheekbone respectively, Chester Crown Court heard on Thursday, July 2.

Roth, 30, of Oak Close, Gwersyllt, Wrexham and Taylor, 24, of Briarswood, New Rhosrobin, Rhosrobin admitted grievous bodily harm, while Pritchard, 43, of Elwin Drive, Marchwiel and Morris, 29, of Saxon Road, Gwersyllt, admitted a charge of affray.

Honorary Recorder of Chester Judge Steven Everett told the four of them it had been a "truly disgraceful" incident for which they should all "hang their heads in shame", and it was only the fact 18 months had passed since the fight that they were all spared immediate prison terms.

Prosecuting, Myles Wilson said the four had been at a Christmas works night out at Chester Racecourse and had initially been seen to get on well with the two victims, who were on an adjacent table and worked for a cleaning firm, before too much drink had been taken and there was verbal abuse.

CCTV footage played to the court showed the defendants had gone outside and met the victims.

Roth was seen to throw punches at Mr Burns, who fell over and broke his ankle, while Taylor punched Mr Richards with increasing force.

Pritchard and Morris also got involved in the brawl, before all four made off on foot.

Mr Burns was left with numerous cuts and bruises and was in plaster for weeks.

In a victim impact statement, he said his Christmas had been "ruined" and was embarrassed to tell his girlfriend's children, saying he pretended he had fallen down stairs.

He had been unable to work for 10 weeks and lost several weeks pay, which meant he had had to move out of his home as he could not afford to pay the rent.

Mr Richards had been left with a fractured cheekbone and initial surgery to correct it had not worked, and he declined the option of further surgery which could have left him with a facial scar, the court heard.

In a victim statement, Mr Richards said he could not eat solids for several weeks and had been unable to work for a number of weeks.

Roth had limited previous convictions, none since 2010, and the other three defendants had no previous convictions at the time of the offence.

However, Taylor had since received a police caution for possession of cocaine, leading an unimpressed Judge Everett to lecture him on the "evils" of the class A drug.

All solicitors representing the defendants said they expressed remorse, had pleaded guilty at an early stage and were ashamed of their actions.

Judge Everett added that neither Mr Burns nor Mr Richards had "covered themselves in glory" during the fight, but were paying a very high penalty through their injuries.

Owen Edwards, defending Roth, said he had built up an extremely successful business by himself, working hard every day, and had built up a good reputation. If he was to go to prison, he would have no choice but to wind the company up.

James Coutts, defending Taylor, said the defendant – an apprentice at the firm – looked shocked when he read the victim statement and realised what an impact it had had on Mr Richards.

Simon Mills, defending Pritchard, said of the defendant: "He expresses an apology to the court, to the public and to the two victims for what he did."

Matthew Curtis, defending Morris, said the defendant had since left Roth's firm and found work in Mold as a gas engineer.

Morris's involvement in the affray was also slightly less than that of Pritchard, Mr Curtis added.

Judge Everett told the four defendants: "This should have been an entertaining works night out, not drinking so much you can't contain yourselves.

"Gentlemen, you should be behaving yourselves like decent members of the community. That is what you are; a decent, productive company. You are hard working and threatening to throw that away when you drink too much. You should hang your heads in shame."

All four were placed on a three-month, 8pm-6am curfew after Judge Everett said he did not want any of them celebrating their court result when the pubs reopen in England on July 4.

Roth and Taylor were each handed a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work and pay £1,500 compensation.

In addition, Taylor must complete 30 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement, with Roth ordered to complete 20 days.

Pritchard was handed a five-month prison term, suspended for 18 months, with Morris handed a four-month prison term, again suspended for 18 months.

Both must also complete 120 hours unpaid work.

All four must also pay £250 each in costs, plus a victim surcharge.