A FAMILY feud sparked a violent confrontation in a taxi queue, a court heard.

Rhian Jackson, prosecuting, described how at around 4am on April 6 this year, local authority CCTV captured images of an ongoing fight in Wrexham town centre between two men who were repeatedly punching each other and scuffling on the floor.

Police officers were notified and on arrival they separated the two men who were identified as Matthew Francis Gavan, who was appearing at North East Wales Magistrates’ where he had earlier pleaded guilty to common assault, and his uncle, Kerry James Gavan.

During his police interview, Gavan said he had been out with a friend watching football and had drunk over ten pints of beer when he made his way to a taxi rank where he saw his uncle.

Describing himself as eight or nine out of ten on a scale of drunkenness, Gavan described his uncle “goading” him to fight and although he did not remember much of what happened CCTV shown to court captured him throwing the first punch which knocked his relative to the ground.

A fight broke out in which both men traded punches resulting in Gavan requiring hospital treatment over the next week.

Ms Jackson said Kerry Gavan had pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing and was later acquitted of assault by a jury who believed he used reasonable force.

Probation officer Andrew Connah said Gavan accepted he threw the first punch but maintained he was provoked and it was the only way out.

Mr Connah said that Gavan, 29, of Gwenfro, Wrexham, was a student in his last year studying for a degree in construction management and had three children.

He added that Gavan’s cuts to his nose and eye had been so serious that nurses were amazed he did not need a blood transfusion.

After watching the CCTV footage, deputy district judge, Andrew Jebb, said: “People are doing their best to calm things down, but he (Gavan) decides he will approach his uncle and he does begin the violence.

“He punches him once when he is upright which causes him to go to the ground and once more when they are in a ball on the ground.

Addressing Gavan, deputy district judge Jebb, said: “You undoubtedly started the violence that night and I don’t accept that you had no choice. You chose in your very drunk state that you would engage in violence.

“It was on a street at 4am in the town centre and it must have been a shocking thing to see.”

Gavan was fined £200 for the assault and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30.