Onlookers hid from 'riot' that ended in death of student

Brawl: the Royal Oak

Brawl: the Royal Oak

First published in News by

Teddington residents hid frightened in their houses as a "mini riot" broke out metres from their doorsteps, a court heard.

The fight, which started outside the Royal Oak at 9.50pm on Saturday, November 10, 2010, spilled up the high street to Field Lane and ended in the death of Patrick Lawless.

A jury at Kingston Crown Court were read statements from five people who live opposite the pub and watched the brawl unfold from their homes.

Andy Butterfield said he saw a smaller group of men goading a larger group in the middle of the road.He said: "The whole road was blocked. A bus was blocked from getting past the group.

"Both groups have then gone down the mews. I could still hear them shouting. The tone was aggressive."

Mr Butterfield said he saw a man being chased around a car and hit to the ground.

He said: "Mayhem seemed to ensue after the punch. Some groups looked completely shocked about what had happened while others just seemed to punch whoever the could find."

The court heard a couple, John Stemp and Lisa Lancaster, watched the brawl from behind their wooden blinds in their basement flat.

Mr Stemp said he heard "menacing" voices and was frightened.

He said: "I was very frightened to see something like this so close to where I was. I was also frightened for the people being chased."

Ms Lancaster described the scene as a "mini riot" and said she was shocked and in disbelief at what she saw and felt vulnerable.

She said: "I was very scared as there were so many people there and they were so close to the flat.

"I was shocked by what I was seeing and I couldn't really take it all in.

"I have never witnesses anything like this before. It was a different scale. It was very frightening."

Selina Giles also described the fight as a "mini riot" and the court heard she was one of many residents who called 999 to alert the police and ambulance service that evening.

The trial continues.

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