Wickham horse fair violence: brawling families told to ‘hang their heads in shame’

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TWO feuding families involved in a mass brawl at Wickham Horse Fair have been told: Hang your heads in shame.

Recorder Nicholas Rowland said two members of the Keet family and four from the Kempster family were involved in ‘a disgraceful pitched battle’ at the annual event.

Violence at Wickham horse fair

Violence at Wickham horse fair

The fair descended into chaos as shocked onlookers watched the fight - which involved catapults and a baton being wielded - unfold.

Kicks and punches were thrown and members of both families, who have a troubled history, were left bloodied and bruised.

Six people – two from one family and four from another – admitted various charges in relation to the fight.

As reported, the violence that took place in Winchester Road in Wickham was captured on CCTV by the RSPCA who had attended the event on the look-out for any potential animal cruelty.

But instead their camera caught the lengthy brawl, which continued even as police arrived and tried to restore order.

Several of the defendants were left bloodied or with ripped clothing following the brawl which involved Esta Keet, 52, Ricky Keet, 24, and rival family members James Albert Kempster, 27, James Kempster senior, 40, Horace Kempster, 20, and Albert Kempster, 19.

Horace Kempster received three stitches after being hit in the forehead by a catapult.

Now all six have been banned from attending Wickham Horse Fair after the dramatic footage was shown in court.

It shows a member of the Keet family – David – standing in the street when a member of the Kempster family aims a catapult at him and he is knocked to the ground.

The pair appear to tussle before James Kempster senior approaches Mr Keet brandishing a whip.

Esta Keet is seen to extend an asp - a baton - and hit down on James Kempster as he is assaulting her husband David.

Ricky Keet can be seen firing a catapult which hits Horace Kempster in the face. Three police officers then intervene and split up David Keet and James Kempster.

Horace Kempster is then seen to return and launch a kick at the head of Mr Keet as he is lying on the floor.

Esta Keet can again be seen using the asp, this time to hit Horace Kempster.

Elsewhere a catapult is aimed by Ricky Keet towards James Kempster senior.

Grandmother Esta Keet again strikes out with the asp, then another man – David Digger Keet – strikes James Kempster as he is detained by police, before being detained by officers on May 20 last year.

Esta Keet, of Long Road, Soberton, admitted possessing an offensive weapon. She received a three-year community order.

Ricky Keet, of the same address, admitted one count of assault occasioning actually bodily harm (ABH).

He received a six-month suspended sentence and was told to do 180 hours of unpaid work.

Albert Kempster, of Marchwood Road, Totton, admitted assault.

He received a three-year community order and was told to pay £300 costs.

He was ordered not leave home between 7pm and 7am for six months.

Horace Kempster, of the same address, admitted affray. He received a two-year community order and was told to do 140 hours of unpaid work and pay £200 costs.

James Kempster junior, 27, also of Marchwood Road, Totton, admitted possessing an offensive weapon and his dad, James Kempster senior, of the same address, admitted ABH.

James Kempster junior was given a three-year community order and told to pay £300 costs.

James Kempster senior received a three-year community order and was told to pay £150 costs and do 140 hours of unpaid work.

All of the defendants were banned from Wickham Horse Fair for three years except Horace Kempster and Ricky Keet who received two-year bans.

Esta and Ricky Keet were banned from Berry Brickfields caravan park, where the Kempsters live, for two years.

The four Kempsters were banned from Knowle and Soberton for two years.

Addressing the six, Recorder Nicholas Rowland said: ‘Your idea though of a family day out is to get involved in a disgraceful pitched battle in full view of people of all ages present at that country day out.

‘Watching that film again I hope you were hanging your heads in shame.’

David Digger Keet, 28, of Long Road, Soberton, admitted one count of assault during an earlier hearing at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and told to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £300 costs.

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