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War in Ukraine sparked King's Lynn street brawl, court told

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A remark showing support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine sparked a drunken street brawl in Lynn, a court heard.

It happened in Norfolk Street, the town’s popular night-time economy area.

Lithuanian national Martynas Zeimys, 28, took exception to the comment and punched his friend.

Terrain crack - Ukraine/Russia. (55516846)
Terrain crack - Ukraine/Russia. (55516846)

Another pal, Martynas Kalvelis, 26, got involved too and soon there were a number of people fighting in the street.

“It was about 3am and the defendants were involved in what the police describe as a street brawl,” prosecutor Jodin Gherra told Lynn Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

“The defendants were walking down the street with a friend of theirs. Mr Zeimys lunges out and punches one of the other males and everyone gets involved – the three friends and others in the area.

“Security guards [from nearby bars and clubs] got involved too.

“A number of people were trying to break it up and arms were being thrown about.”

The court was told that CCTV images showed Zeimys’ initial punch and one of the injured received a 3cm cut to the forehead.

Zeimys, of Colby Court, Lynn, and Kalvelis, of Deas Road, South Wootton, both pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour on February 27. Neither had any previous convictions.

Solicitor George Sorrell, mitigating for both defendants, said: “A remark was made to Mr Zeimys about the present confrontation in Ukraine and the other person expressed some support for the Russians.

“Mr Zeimys did not share this view as he felt Lithuania – his home country – could be next on the list and that’s what caused the argument.

“Mr Kalvelis’ involvement was to help his friend.”

Mr Sorrell added: “It was a chance remark about a very serious subject and the defendant took offence.

“When people express an opinion they should realise that other people have the right to express a different opinion, however unwelcome that might be.

“The best thing he could have done was to walk away from the other individual and dismiss the remark as nonsense, if that’s what he thought.”

Zeimys was sentenced to 80 hours’ unpaid work and Kalvelis 40 hours.

Each defendant was also ordered to pay £150 in costs and a victim surcharge.

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