Staff at Sheffield Crown Court have been left 'shocked' after two defendants and 20 people from the public gallery became involved in a courtroom brawl, following the return of guilty verdicts.
Chaos erupted in Court 1 at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday afternoon, after jurors found both Ricky Mayfield, 30, and his cousin Francis Mayfield, 24, guilty of offences of grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of a firearm, relating to a shooting in Sheffield woodlands.
The court's usher described how once the jury and Justice Finola O'Farrell had left the court, Ricky Mayfield 'went for' prosecution barrister Paul Mitchell, as well as the investigating officer in the case.
The usher, who did not want to be named, added: "He jumped the dock. He dragged the security guards who were on either side out of him out. He shattered the glass on the dock, we've had to have that replaced today."
He continued: "Both of the defendants were involved. And as soon as it started, about 20 - 22 people from the public gallery came down and got involved.
"It's the type of thing you'd expect to see at a football match. It definitely amounts to an affray.
"One security guard was knocked to the floor. The police and security guards were definitely overpowered.
"We had to bring the security guards from downstairs up to the court to deal with it."
The usher said he had to escort the investigating officer and Mr Mitchell out of the court through a back entrance to escape the brawl.
Mr Mitchell said the incident left him feeling 'shocked'.
"Never in 24 years of trials at crown courts have I ever seen anything like this.
"Yes, actually, in this case, shocked is the word I would use to describe this."
He continued by saying about half of the people who had come down from the public gallery appeared to be acting as 'aggressors' in the brawl; while the other half were acting as 'peace-makers' - and that this almost led to fights breaking out between the two groups.
Justice O'Farrell sentenced Ricky, of the Norfolk Park bail hostel to 15 years in prison, with an extended license period of five years, and handed Francis, of Toppham Road, Low Edges a jail-term of 10 years during a hearing held in the same courtroom this afternoon.
She did not mention yesterday's brawl during her sentencing remarks, but the court had a heavy police presence and officers were taking the names and addresses of everyone who entered the public gallery.
This afternoon's sentencing passed without incident.