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A RECORDER has spared five young men jail following a “disgraceful” outbreak of violence in Oxford’s Gloucester Green.

The group all pleaded guilty to violent disorder on October 13, 2012, following a brawl in the city centre square at just after 4am.

Alan Blake, prosecuting, said it was still unclear why the fight began, but CCTV had captured a group of four Libyan men taking off their belts to use as weapons.

He told Recorder Patrick Hamlin that it appeared from the footage this group started the trouble, but around 15 people became involved on the “English-speaking” side.

Among them were 21-year-old Jake Steele, 22-year-old Jason Harper, 21-year-old Connor Joyce, 20-year-old Jordan Welch-Hayes, and 20-year-old Timothy Jackson. He said CCTV caught the five defendants gathering around complainant Abu Qaisa and attacking him as he lay “utterly defenceless” on the ground.

Mr Blake said the Libyan man suffered a skull fracture at some point during the brawl, but had now fully recovered and left the country.

Recorder Hamlin said the men’s behaviour had been “near feral” and he would be entirely justified sending all five to prison - but would give them a second chance.

He told them: “The behaviour and the violence of that evening was quite disgraceful, it must have caused great concern to residents and kiosk holders alike.”

Harper, of Daimler Avenue, Oxford, was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, with 250 hours of unpaid work, £400 compensation and a £100 victims’ surcharge.

Welch-Hayes, 19, of Ulfgar Road, Oxford, received the same sentence as Harper.

Jackson, of Ramsay Road, Headington, was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for two years, with 125 hours of unpaid work, £200 compensation and a £100 victims’ surcharge.

Joyce, of Ryder Close, Oxford, received the same sentence as Jackson.

Steele, of Jordan Hill Road, Oxford, was given the same sentence as Jackson, but will be under supervision for 12 months with a managing alcohol-related aggression course instead of unpaid work.