Warring families in wild Coledale brawl

FIVE people have been charged and more arrests are likely after a brawl involving two warring families in Coledale.

There were reports of up to 100 people in Cossa St when the brawl erupted about 5.30pm on Tuesday.

More than a dozen police swept the area trying to break up the street fight before they were allegedly pelted with objects.

No officers were injured but they allege a number of offenders were armed with bottles and rocks.

Three men, all from the same family, were arrested at the scene and charged with affray and offensive behaviour.

Steven Roy Nean, 52, Steven Leslie Nean, 29, and 27-year-old Wayne Nean spent the night in custody before they fronted Tamworth Local Court yesterday.

The father and sons have denied any involvement in the affray and have all pleaded not guilty to the offences.

A large contingent of supporters for the family were in court to hear each of the trio make a fresh bid for bail.

Solicitor for Nean Snr, Joanne Patton, said her client was a working man, was not drinking alcohol, and had “been keeping himself out of trouble”.

“He does deny the offences,” she told the court.

“My client is pleading not guilty on the basis that he wasn’t involved in the affray or any offensive behaviour.” 

Nean Snr was granted bail to remain under house arrest and is allowed to continue working.

Nean Jnr’s solicitor, Gary Johnson, argued there were issues of self-defence involved but there was an enormous amount of confusion on who did what and why.

“What appears to be unprovoked attack on Mr Nean’s brother,” he told the court.

“The allegations are serious, that’s conceded.”

A solicitor for his co-accused, brother Wayne Nean, told the court his client could continue to work if allowed on bail.

“Mr Nean was acting in self-defence or defence of other people,” Matt Kwan said.

“It is not strong ... not a strong prosecution case.”

But police prosecutor Rob Baillie argued the 27-year-old was directly involved.

“We can identify to some extent that Mr Nean was involved in the melee ... and in fact had a knife at the scene,” he said.

Magistrate Roger Prowse said he had to refuse Wayne Nean bail because of evidence that he was inciting others to fight.

“It was clear, unambiguous involvement by you,” he told the court on the limited statements and evidence presented.

“Police themselves witnessed you committing acts that amount to an affray.”

Both brothers were refused bail with the case due to return to court at the end of March.

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