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Man jailed after driving into crowd outside Brentwood nightclub

Martin Stokes was found not guilty of attempted murder (credit: Met Police)

A man has been jailed following a large disturbance on Brentwood High Street in 2017.

Three people were injured after being struck by an Audi Q7 outside The Sugar Hut nightclub, during the early hours on Sunday, 2 April.

Martin Stokes, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Southend Magistrates’ Court this morning (Monday, 24 January) to four years in prison.

One victim, then aged in his 20s, was lying on the floor unconscious prior to being hit following a large brawl in the street.

The man was severely injured and only emergency treatment at the scene could save his life. 

Two others, who were tending to the man on the ground, were also struck. 

Police say although their injuries were not serious, this significantly impacted upon their mental health.

Stokes left the country following the incident and couldn’t be located by Police.

He was arrested in London last April and charged with attempted murder, two counts of ABH, dangerous driving and violent disorder.

In June , Stokes pleaded guilty to two count of ABH and causing serious injury by dangerous driving but not guilty to attempted murder.

Stokes didn’t deny being behind the wheel of the Audi Q7 but claimed not to have seen the victim on the ground.

 

Essex Police say Stokes had attempted to enter the nightclub earlier in the evening but was refused entry because he was wearing trainers. He returned later wearing suitable footwear. 

The large brawl broke out as Stokes left the venue and he got involved.

While this happened, the Audi Q7 was seen to be manoeuvring in and around the junction of Crown Street and High Street, before reversing back and coming to a stop on High Street. 

Stokes then got into the driver’s side of the vehicle as the previous driver moved into the passenger seat.

The vehicle then accelerated and struck the group.

On Friday, 21 January, Stokes was found not guilty of either attempted murder or GBH with intent although was sentenced for his guilty pleas this morning.

Detective Superintendent Steve Jennings, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Stokes tried his best to evade justice for his actions for more than four years, until he was arrested in April last year. 

“This incident severely impacted Stokes’ victims and has significantly impacted them in the long-term.

“We never stopped pursuing Stokes after he fled the country and, today, he has been sentenced to an appropriate time in custody for his crimes.” 

Stokes is the eleventh person to be convicted in connection with this incident. 

Eight men admitted affray in 2019 and were given suspended prison sentences, fined and were ordered to complete unpaid work totalling 880 hours.

In December 2018, two men were also fined and ordered to carry out unpaid work for affray.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

 

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