THREE men have been sentenced over a drunken punch-up outside a family funeral wake at a Chester city centre social club.

Aidrian Callaghan, 31, John Callaghan, 32 and John Moore, 39, all appeared at Chester Crown Court on Friday, August 14 after pleading guilty to a charge of affray before their trial was due to take place.

Aidrian Callaghan, of Oak Road, Chester, was sentenced to 10 months in prison, while John Callaghan, of Abbots Walk, Holywell and Moore, of Whitby Road, Ellesmere Port, were handed 12-month suspended prison sentences.

The fight happened outside the United Services Club on Crook Street on the evening of June 21, 2019, following a family funeral, prosecutor Philip Clemo told the court.

The court heard it was about 6.30pm when the three, who had all been drinking at the club which was holding the wake, got into the fight.

There had been a verbal argument before the altercation happened 'involving a large number of people'.

This involved the three men, plus women and children being the victims; one received an arm injury and another had her finger bitten, which required stitches.

During the affray, John Callaghan was knocked out and lay unconscious on the ground for some time.

Police arrived and the three were arrested. Moore was found in Stanley Place, and gave xenophobic and homophobic abuse to officers.

Four victim impact statements from female victims were read to the court, detailing their shock and upset at what had happened.

One said she had been unable to grieve properly as a result of the incident and wished the matter was ended so they could move on.

Judge Nicholas Woodward noted Aidrian Callaghan had a "persistent history" of offending, while John Callaghan was lightly convicted and had no relevant previous convictions. Moore had served a lengthy prison term in 2000 but had no offending since then.

Mark Connor, defending Moore, said Moore was a "hard-working family man", whose employer had provided a reference.

He said Moore wished to apologise for his behaviour and, in particular, his behaviour to the police officers.

Anna Price, defending Aidrian Callaghan, said said he had accepted it should not have happened and the last place to behave like that was at a funeral wake, where emotions are high.

He had autism and ADHD and custody would have particular difficulty for him.

Richard Thomas, defending John Callaghan, said the defendant had never behaved anything like this previously, and had been considered a gentle man.

He had been working as a carer even at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, until losing his job as a result of admitting this offence. Since then, he had immediately found work elsewhere.

Judge Woodward said all three defendants had accepted different but serious involvement in what was a "frightening" incident.

There were several aggravating factors, that women were attacked, children were involved, the city centre location and consumption of alcohol.

Judge Woodward accepted Moore was genuinely remorseful and handed him a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years.

Moore must complete up to 10 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement, 100 hours unpaid work, and pay £360 costs.

The judge said John Callaghan had responded positively since the affray and handed him a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years, ordering him to complete 180 hours unpaid work and to pay £360 costs.

However, Judge Woodward said Aidrian Callaghan had not shown much remorse, had a persistent history of offending and had previously breached a suspended sentence.

Aidrian Callaghan was jailed for 10 months.

As he was being led to the cells, Aidrian Callaghan said: "Not my fault."