Men found guilty after Blackburn cinema brawl

First published in News

THREE men have been convicted for a brawl at a cinema complex in which a man was glassed and a pregnant woman punched in the stomach.

Liam Aspin, 20, his girlfriend Rebecca Maher, 18, and her three-month pregnant friend Danielle Hulme, 20, were at the Bowlplex bar when Shabaz Ahmed Nawaz offered to buy the women a drink.

Nawaz, 27, was ignored by the group, but then shoved Mr Aspin before his friends Mohammed Danish Junaid, 22, Hassan Waqqar Malik, 25, joined in the assault with kicks and punches.

Eye witnesses described the group as acting ‘like a pack of wild animals’.

Pool cues were used as ‘improvised weapons’.

Anthony Walsh, 42, and his partner Sharon McDermott, 43, saw what was happening and went to intervene as ‘Good Samaritans’, police said.

But the gang turned on them and they were both assaulted in the melee.

Ms Hulme was punched in the stomach by one of the men.

Mr Aspin tried to help and was again assaulted, with Malik kicking him and then smashing a glass on his head as he was on the floor.

He was left with pieces of glass embedded in his skull.

The group, who had been at the Vue and Bowlplex building in Peel Leisure and Retail Park, Lower Audley Street, celebrating a friend’s wedding, jumped into flash hire cars including a Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce and sped off.

At Preston Crown Court, Junaid, 22, of Taylor Street, Brierfield; Malik, 25, of Pringle Street, and Nawaz, 27, of Edith Street, both Blackburn, all admitted violent disorder.

After a short trial, Malik was convicted of wounding Mr Aspin. They will all be sentenced in January.

Police said the violent incident happened around 9.30pm on December 27 last year in front of shocked families enjoying a night out.

All the victims have made full recoveries and Ms Hulme has since given birth.

DI Mark Winstanley said: “This was particularly cowardly attack.”

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