A BIRTHDAY celebration erupted into a mass fight outside a Wearside bar.
Violence spilled out onto the streets after the party at the NE38 sports bar in Barmston, Washington, was targeted by gatecrashers.
CCTV footage taken at the time shows an angry mob throwing punches and kicking and stamping on each other.
One man was forced to curl up in a ball on the ground as his head was repeatedly stamped on by multiple attackers.
A judge at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday said it was “miraculous” that none of those involved sustained serious injuries, although all received countless blows.
A father and son were among the victims attacked on the ground while horrified onlookers, including women, tried to break up the brawl.
It is believed that at least one man ended up unconscious, while residents in the surrounding houses watched in horror.
Judge Jeremy Freedman said the footage of the violence made “terrifying viewing”.
Judge Freedman told the men involved: “Over a period of about 10 minutes, you collectively, at various times, behaved like a pack of wild animals, chasing the individuals, holding them down, punching them, kicking them, stamping on them.
“It is miraculous no one suffered any serious injury.” The court heard that it is unclear what sparked the “ugly” scenes of violence on December 22 last year, but prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw said there was “some support” for the theory that it was caused by rivalry between factions from Barmston and neighbouring Penshaw.
Mr Wardlaw said the four injured men suffered “extensive bruising”, but no fractures were confirmed.
He added: “This was an unplanned, sporadic outbreak of group violence which, at various stages, defendants chose to get involved in, some from the outset, some when they saw victims on the ground and decided to join in.”
Stephen Swan, 43, of Thirlmoor, Blackfell, Washington, the father of the party’s host, Rhys Dobinson, 24, of West View, Penshaw, Jack Edwards, 23, of The Limes, Penshaw, Ross Hughes, 23, of Richardson Terrace, Concord, Washington, Alan Lewins, 23, of Model Terrace, Penshaw, Graham Moore, 37, of Giill Crescent North, Fence Houses, Christopher Passmore, 23, of Swaleview Crescent, Penshaw, Jack Richardson, 22, of Windermere Crescent, Shiney Row, and Christopher Newby, 27, of Back Buttsfield Terrace, Penshaw, all admitted violent disorder.
They were given 16-month prison sentences suspended for two years, with various requirements including curfews, costs and unpaid work.
Moore was given an extra two months’ imprisonment, still suspended, for handling a stolen bike.
Scott Smith, 24, of Banbury, Sulgrave, Washington, originally spoken to as a victim of the violence and was injured that night, was given a community order for six months after pleading guilty to a public-order offence.
The judge said he accepted that each defendant was genuinely remorseful and ashamed of their behaviour, which was largely fuelled by drink, and that they had acted out of character.
Most of the men are in work and handed in references to their usually positive characters.
Three further men involved in the violence will be sentenced later.