Hull fisherman in taxi office fight sent to jail for failing to attend court
A FISHERMAN who caused a brawl in a taxi office was arrested as his vessel berthed after he failed to attend court.
Andy Welburn, 47, was supposed to have attended court to be sentenced for threatening behaviour but claimed his ship had broken down in Denmark.
A check by police showed this was not the case and the ship was actually fishing off Norway.
Former taxi firm owner Thomas Atkins, 45, suffered a fractured cheek bone and other facial injuries at the hands of Welburn's sons Lee and Robert after their father falsely accused him of assault.
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Welburn senior had drunkenly fallen over in the taxi office in Anlaby Road, west Hull, badly cutting his face.
He allowed his family to believe the boss of Carlton Cars was responsible.
Lee and Robert repeatedly punched Mr Atkins in the face, despite the fact he had come to their father's aid moments earlier.
Welburn was to be sentenced at the same time as his sons but failed to attend court.
His employers, Marr Associates, claimed they would not have allowed him on the fishing trip had they known he had legal proceedings pending.
He was arrested in Scotland when his ship docked last Friday and was transferred to Hull.
Recorder Andrew Stubbs QC sentenced Welburn to seven days' imprisonment for breaching bail by failing to attend court and remanded him in custody until he can be sentenced for threatening behaviour.
Recorder Stubbs told him: "Judge David Tremberg passed sentence on your sons and in the interests of justice you should be sentenced by him too. I will remand you in custody as I find there is a real risk you will not attend."
Following the attack, Mr Atkins lost his taxi business.
Hull Crown Court heard how he was assaulted at 12.30am on June 4 last year.
Mr Atkins' daughter Nicola tried to help her father but was also assaulted.
Taxi driver Andrew Walker pulled up in his cab and also tried to help but he too was punched. A customer was assaulted as well.
In his victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Walker said: "They behaved like a bunch of animals. People would have felt intimidated in their presence."
Both brothers, Lee, 27, of Hereford Street, west Hull, and Robert, 29, of North Road, west Hull, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of common assault. They were both jailed for eight months.