Five in court after attack in city centre
FIVE men have appeared in court to face charges relating to an incident that has left a young man fighting for his life.
Lukas Banys (20), Sarunas Galinis (19), Deividas Matusevicius (19), Ricardas Bartos (23) and Kestutis Baranauskas (21), all of Church Walk, Peterborough, appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
The Lithuanians were all charged with affray in connection with an incident in Broadway, Peterborough at 2.45am on Monday which left James Burke (21), of Lombardy Drive, Peterborough fighting for his life with his mother keeping a bedside vigil in Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
A second man, who is 60 years old, also suffered serious but not lifethreatening injuries and is being treated at Peterborough City Hospital.
The defendants all appeared at yesterday’s court hearing wearing identical plain white t-shirts and navy blue tracksuit bottoms.
Galinis, Banys and Bartos appeared in the dock together first, while a second hearing was held for Matusevicius and Baranauskas.
They spoke only to confirm their address and date of birth and listened to the hearing through an interpreter as the alleged facts of the case were outlined.
No pleas were taken during the hearing and only Bartos made a bail application.
However chairman of the bench appearance: Five men have appeared in court charged with affray in relation to an incident in Broadway in the early hours of Monday morning. (METP-21-0512RH22) Dr Vivian Thomas refused the application and remanded all five men into custody to appear at the court on Friday, June 1.
News of Mr Burke’s injuries have caused shock around Peterborough, with Twitter users appealing for others to keep him in their thoughts through the hashtag #prayforjames.
A Cambridgeshire police spokeswoman said: “The 21-year-old’s mum has kept a vigil at his bed in hospital. There has been no change in his condition.”
Mr Burke’s neighbour Pat Johnstone (59) said: “It’s just terrible - none of us can believe what has happened. My wife found out about it on Tuesday night.
“James is a good boy. His mum made him get a job as soon as he finished college.
“He gets on well with my son Harry because they are both big Arsenal fans. You just don’t expect something like this to happen to someone you know.”
Harry (14) added: “I grew up with him and we are just hoping he pulls through. He was a very good footballer and we used to play together.”
One neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “They are a lovely family and the mother raised James to be a nice young man. The mum is with James in hospital and I think his sister is staying with their auntie.”
Mr Burke also works for O’neill’s, in Broadway, where he has been an employee for around two years.
An O’neill’s spokesman said: “James is a popular and respected team member and his friends and colleagues are, understandably, shocked by what has happened.
“Our thoughts and best wishes are with James and his family at this difficult time.”
Picture: ROWLAND HOBSON.