By Shawna Healey
Seven men have been arrested following the assault of rugby player Joe Sharatt and friend Leon Cooper three weeks ago outside Princess Street nightclub Factory 256. Sharatt suffered a traumatic head injury, but has since been released from hospital.
The incident took place in the early hours of December 2nd. A video recorded by Twitter user DontFollowStu has been viewed over 800,000 times.
On the 14th of December, two men were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and section 20 and section 47 assault, and another two men were also arrested for suspected violent disorder and section 47 assault. These men have been released on bail pending further enquires.
The following day, another man was arrested on suspected violent disorder, and section 47 assault. A further two men were then arrested two days later on suspicion of violent disorder and section 47 assault.
What is violent disorder?
Violent Disorder is where 3 or more persons are present together and use or threaten unlawful violence, and the conduct of them (taken together) is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their personal safety, each of the persons using or threatening unlawful violence is guilty of violent disorder.
What is Section 20 Assault?
Section 20 Assault is Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH). It carried a maximum 5-year sentence. It includes unlawful wounding and serious bodily harm.
What is Section 47 Assault?
Section 47 Assault is assault against a person. It includes Actual Bodily Harm (ABH), and often goes by the name of ABH. ABH section 47 offences are more serious than common assault charges but less severe than Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) offences. It carries a maximum 5 years sentence.
Factory’s license is still suspended under investigation by Manchester City Council. The decision regarding its licence is expected to be announced on the 31st of December.
The names of the arrested men haven’t been announced, although it is known that the men in question are aged between 20 and 40 years old.
Detective Chief Inspector Terry Crompton, of GMP’s City of Manchester division, said that the incident “was a horrific incident that quite clearly could have resulted in devastating consequences and we are working tirelessly to ensure that those responsible are held to account for their actions”. Crompton went on to to thank “those witnesses who have already been in touch and shared their footage of the incident with us as this has really assisted with our enquiries.”