A gang thug who got into a vicious nightclub brawl walked free from court despite dozens of previous convictions – because his girlfriend works for the NHS.
Lawyers for Kieran Salkeld, of Beechwood in Liverpool, said his partner would lose her job if the yob was put behind bars.
The 26-year-old appeared at Liverpool Crown Court to be sentenced over a police chase in Walton and a fight at the Cool Room in Birkenhead.
Salkeld was joined in the dock by pal Jack Cook, 22, and the man they scrapped with in the club, 29-year-old Michael Copland, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Defending Salkeld, who admitted dangerous driving and threatening behaviour, lawyers said that he was responsible for looking after his daughter.
The thug, who has 21 previous convictions for 26 offences, was part of a gang that reportedly terrorised parts of Merseyside.
But Charles Lander, defending Salkeld, said his partner worked as a care worker and was "an important contributor to society".
Mr Lander said: "For the last five to six months while coronavirus has taken place that has meant the defendant had sole care and responsibility of his seven-year-old daughter."
The lawyer accepted Salkeld had a poor record, but suggested there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.
The court heard that cops saw Salkeld speeding in a Vauxhall Mokka just after midday on November 12, 2018.
Ryan Rothwell, prosecuting, said police pulled up alongside the car and spoke to Salkeld, who said he was going to visit a friend in prison.
He gave false details and officers asked him to pull over, but he sped off, which caused another driver to slam on his brakes to avoid a crash.
Salkeld weaved in and out of traffic down Stopgate Lane, onto Long Lane and in an "extremely dangerous manoeuvre" over a railway bridge on Hartley Avenue.
Officers abandoned the chase because they were needed elsewhere, but Salkeld was identified as the driver on CCTV footage at the Kingsway Tunnel 15 minutes before the pursuit. He made no comment in an interview on December 10 that year.
And CCTV caught the thug fighting at a nightclub in the early hours of March 2019.
The court was told that Copland walked past Salkeld and "accidentally slightly nudged" him, which led to an argument, before Salkeld's friend Cook slapped Copland in the face.
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Seconds later, an unknown man approached Copland – blindsiding him – and headbutted him to the face.
Copland stumbled back, before he turned and hurled a glass bottle towards a crowd, which struck Cook, but didn't injure him.
Mr Rothwell said security escorted Copland away, but Salkeld "approached him from behind, put his hands around his neck and dragged him down to the floor".
Copland was then set upon by others, including the man who headbutted him, and Cook, who delivered two punches.
When arrested Salkeld and Cook gave no comment interviews, while Copland accepted his behaviour, but said he remembered very little.
Salkeld has been in trouble in the past for dangerous driving and for being concerned with drug dealing – with the Liverpool Echo reporting that in 2015 he was caught with £26,000 worth of cannabis.
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He has also been sentenced for assault causing actual bodily harm and battery, and twice for threatening behaviour.
Just 11 days after the 2018 police chase he committed an affray, for which he was jailed for 10 months last October.
When released on March 18 this year, he was met by officers and re-arrested for breaching his gang injunction, issued in May 2019.
Magistrates found he breached it on two occasions by entering a prohibited area in Birkenhead and using or threatening to use violence, and jailed him for a further 70 days.
But he walked free from court after judges were told that jailing him would have a “significant harmful impact” on others ”particularly when his partner works for the NHS and she would have to stop that job to look after the daughter”.
Mr Lander said Salkeld had a job offer with a roofing company and was the main person keeping his nan in good spirits, after his grandad died.
Judge Thomas Teague, QC, handed Salkeld nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and banned him from driving for three years.
He ordered him to complete a 25-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) and 120 hours of unpaid work.
The judge gave Cook a 12-month community order, with a 20-day RAR and 100 hours of unpaid work.
He sentenced Copland to a 12-month community order, with 120 hours of unpaid work.
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