NEW Year’s Eve celebrations at a Blackburn pub ended with a mum-of-two throwing pool balls, a mechanic hitting a man over the head with a bar stool and the landlord being threatened at knifepoint for trying to stop the mass brawl.

Preston Crown Court heard a police inspector fractured his wrist in three places after falling when chasing one of the people involved in the drunken seven-minute fracas at the Lord Raglan pub.

Prosecuting, David Traynor said the incident, mainly confined to the King’s Road pub’s pool room, was sparked by an argument between defendant John Raymond Mason and his partner Victoria Clegg at 12.45am on January 1, 2019.

The court heard Nathan Bernard Clegg, Victoria’s brother, and his partner Chelsea Foxton approached Mason and defendant Paul Scott.

Clegg began pointing in Mason’s face, before punching him. Foxton pushed Clegg away but then she hit Mason.

CCTV played in court showed Clegg then throw a beer can at Mason. Foxton flipped a drink in Mason’s hand, causing it to spill, she then tried to hit him in the face.

Clegg pulled Foxton back and approached Mason himself but Foxton then started to throw pool balls towards Mason.

At that point Scott, who had earlier tried to calm the situation down, picked up a bar stool and hit Mason over the back.

As the fighting continued, Scott picked up a second bar stool and used it to hit somebody in the group. Mr Traynor said other customers got involved and managed to move Scott to a corner of the room.

Defendant Barry Duffy, who didn’t know anybody in the group but had gone to the Lord Raglan with Scott after meeting at a different pub, then pulled a knife out. Mr Traynor said Foxton shoved Mason several times. She threw more pool balls but was then punched by another man, who she began fighting with.

The pub landlord Ashley Balmer tried to split up the trouble but Duffy put a knife to his cheek for around 10 seconds and said: “Don’t even think about it. Don’t you dare.”

He then pushed Mr Balmer back and threatened him with the knife for a second time before the scuffles continued.

When landlady Karyn Bibby got to the door she saw Duffy’s knife on the floor so picked it up and put it behind the bar.

Duffy then said: “Where’s that barmaid? I want my blade. If that gets to the police it’s got my fingerprints on it. If that gets to the police I’ll burn or bomb this place down.”

When police arrived Mason was detained but began lashing out at Insp Andy Willis. He began running down the street but was chased by Insp Willis.

Mr Traynor said as Insp Willis went to grab Mason, there was a clash of legs and the officer fell. He broke his wrist in three places, which required metal plates being fitted, and was on restricted duties for three months.

Duffy, 32, of Sunny Bank, Kirkham, pleaded guilty to affray and possessing a blade. Clegg, 27, of Mosley Street, Blackburn; Foxton, 25, of Shorrock Lane, Blackburn, and Scott, 32, of Peridot Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to affray. Mason, 36, of Suffolk Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to escaping lawful custody.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Balmer said he had lost takings on the night and they had been down since because of the reputational damage. He said he had suffered sleepless nights.

Defending Duffy, Hayley Bennett said by his own admission her client was 10 out of 10 on the drunk scale and he had little memory of the fight.

She said that five years ago Duffy had moved out of Liverpool for a better life for him, his partner and his two children, and they would suffer if he was sent to prison.

Ms Bennett said: “He seeks to express his remorse. He describes himself as sickened.”

Defending Foxton, Richard Dawson said all parties, who except for Duffy knew each other, had consumed too much alcohol and acted completely out of character. He said his client was effectively a housewife who cares for two young children.

Defending Clegg, Neil Howard said it was an argument which began between family and friends which quickly escalated. He said his client, who apologised to Ms Bibby immediately after the disorder, not only cares for two children but also his 57-year-old father.

Mr Howard said: “He feels horrible for his behaviour, embarrassed and ashamed.”

Defending Scott, Mark Stuart said his client had started out as peacemaker but accepted he had strayed onto the wrong side of the law. He said his client had a good work record as a mechanic until he was made redundant 18 months ago, but had obtained a trial at a well-known Blackburn firm.

Mr Stuart said: “He was trying to keep them apart rather trying to start any violence.”

Defending Mason, Adrian Harris said his client didn’t know he was being arrested and never thought anybody would be injured by his escape attempt. Mr Harris said Mason was the primary bread-winner and his partner and two children would suffer if he was jailed.

Recorder Geoffrey Payne said it was appalling behaviour which reflected badly on all involved.

Duffy was jailed for 16 months. Foxton and Clegg were given eight-month sentences, suspended for 12 months, 150 hours unpaid work and a three-month curfew. Scott was given a seven-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, 130 hours unpaid work and a three-month curfew. Mason received a 12-week sentence, suspended for six months, 100 hours unpaid work. Foxton, Clegg and Scott were told to pay £52 compensation to Mr Balmer.