A BOLTON barrister is among seven men who have appeared in court accused of violent disorder following a brawl in the town last year.

Mubasher Khan, the 39-year-old managing director of Parkview Solicitors in Chorley New Road, stood in the dock at Bolton Magistrates’ Court alongside a co-defendant as the allegations were read out to him.

Khan, of Sherbourne Road, Bolton, is accused of violent disorder and possessing an offensive weapon, a bat, on October 21.

Six other men are also accused of the same offences. They are: Qammar Abbas, aged 38, of Bertrand Road, Bolton; Gulzer Akram, aged 39, of Dobson Road, Bolton; Adal Khan, aged 22 and Aftab Khan, both of Easedale Road, Bolton; Arfan Khan, aged 42, and Aslam Khan, aged 44, both of Mayor Street, Bolton.

Due to social distancing restrictions the men appeared in the dock separately in three groups. They were not asked to enter pleas.

The allegations stem from an incident in the early hours of the morning on October 21 last year.

Groups of men were seen fighting near the junction of Spa Road and Mayor Street in Halliwell, near Queen's Park.

At the time, video footage of the incident was widely circulated on social media and, following concerns in the community, police issued a statement offering reassurance and stepped up patrols in the area.

In court Toby Wilbraham, appearing in defence for all seven men, said he accepted that, as the alleged offences were part of a “large scale violent disorder” the case should be dealt with at a crown court.

Ann Deakin, prosecuting, told magistrates that, as sentences for violent disorder range from one to three years, if the men were convicted, their sentencing powers would not be sufficient.

Chairman of the bench, Jeff Armstrong, agreed with those submissions and all seven men will next appear at Bolton Crown Court on December 7 for a preliminary hearing.

In the meantime all the defendants were granted unconditional bail.