Twin brothers face losing Army roles over Leeds city centre pub fight

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Twin brothers have put their Army careers in jeopardy over their involvement in a fight in a Leeds pub.

Twenty-five-year-olds John and Paul Rice were caught on camera taking part in a fracas in Yates’s Wine lodge which left a man needing treatment for a cut to the head.

Leeds Crown Court heard the brothers and a third man, Michael Hargill, 21, became violent after being confronted by a man they had bumped into in the pub on February 11 last year. CCTV footage showed Paul Rice trying to calm the situation before John threw a punch while holding a glass.

All three men were arrested after the incident and Hargill, of Malham Road, Eastmoor, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to affray. The brothers, of Castle Hill, Wakefield, denied the offence but were found guilty after a trial. The court heard they both have previous convictions for violence. Lawyers for the pair described how they had joined the Army after serving previous sentences and had both excelled at their careers, completed tours of duty and were very successful athletes within the forces.

But judge Penelope Belcher said: “They are not the first defendants in front of me to say, ‘I am a very fine soldier.’ That is all very well but they need to be fine civilians as well.”

The court heard they could face being discharged from the Army if they received immediate or suspended custodial sentences or more than 100 hours unpaid work.

Both brothers were made the subject of 12-month community orders and ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work.

Judge Belcher told them: “I believe that if you are retained in the Army it may turn you into real men, not the half-men I am looking at the moment.”

She added: “Neither of you were able to step back and recognise that the incident as a whole would have impacted on people around you.” Hargill was given a 12-month community order and 150 hours unpaid work.

Liam Gallagher.

Review: Liam Gallagher, First Direct Arena, Leeds