Sheffield brothers jailed for pub violence

Ashley Carnell, jailed for 20 months for pub brawl.
Ashley Carnell, jailed for 20 months for pub brawl.

Two brothers who ‘behaved like animals’ during a mass brawl in a Sheffield pub have been locked up for 20 months each.

Ryan Carnell, aged 24, and his brother Ashley, 20, have been jailed over the disturbance at The Wordsworth Tavern, Parson Cross, in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Pam Smith, Landlady at the Wordsworth Tavern where there was a mass brawl on New Year's Day.

Pam Smith, Landlady at the Wordsworth Tavern where there was a mass brawl on New Year's Day.

Chairs, stools and tables were all used as weapons, light fittings and a door were wrecked, and scores of glasses were smashed in the melee.

Landlady Pam Smith was left bruised after being knocked to the floor.

Ryan told police he could not remember anything about the fight because he had been ‘steaming’ after a day of drinking.

CCTV footage of the incident was screened at Sheffield Crown Court, which showed a man being knocked unconscious and his wife screaming for an ambulance fearing he was dead.

Craig Lowe, prosecuting, said trouble flared after a group of men without invitations gatecrashed a private party at the pub.

Ryan Carnell smashed a pint glass over a man’s head and the man retaliated with a punch. Carnell then kicked the man and they both fell to the floor.

Ashley Carnell then became embroiled and repeatedly punched the same man until he was unconscious, the court was told.

The brothers were arrested by police, along with two other men who are yet to be dealt with by the courts.

Richard Adams, defending Ryan, said he had a drink problem and had sought help. He had also changed the group he socialises with.

Richard Jepson, for Ashley, said although his behaviour was ‘appalling’ he had rescued a woman knocked to the floor.

Ryan and Ashley, both of Fulmere Crescent, Parson Cross, admitted affray.

Jailing them, Judge Peter Kelson said the CCTV pictures were ‘thoroughly disturbing to watch’.

He told Ashley: “You behaved, as so many others did, like a complete animal.”

The judge added: “This was sustained violence to person and property and deterrent sentences are necessary.”


Landlady Pam Smith said the brawl at her pub was the worst she had seen in over 30 years in the trade.

Pam had taken over at The Wordsworth Tavern on Wordsworth Avenue, Parson Cross, only a few weeks before the trouble flared.

She said the brawl and a number of other incidents - including having doors and windows smashed, and graffiti daubed over the pub - left her considering leaving.

“I am pleased at the sentence because I have never known anything like it before in all the time I have been in the pub trade,” she said.

“A few days later all the windows and doors were smashed up and there was graffiti scrawled over the pub – there was so much damage we had to shut up for 14 days.

“So all these things together made me think twice about whether I wanted to stay here.”

But Pam said she has now ‘turned the place around’ and hopes the sentence handed out to the Carnell brothers will serve as a deterrent to other trouble makers.

“South Yorkshire Police have been so supportive of me and my efforts to turn the place around, and it is now back to being a family pub again,” she said.

“On three separate occasions I considered giving up the licence.

“But I am glad I stayed now, because now we are trouble free.

“I have never before seen violence like I did on that night over New Year, and I hope never to see anything like it ever again – it was terrifying at the time.”