Neighbour assaulted after Brighton student party turns violent

Posted On 03 Dec 2015 at 12:31 pm

WITH VIDEO: A Brighton dad was headbutted and punched in the face this week when he told students leaving a 21st birthday party not to shout in the street.

Toxi garden

The garden chair thrown into Yvonne Doyle’s garden

Ben Hooley, who lives in Brading Road, confronted a group of young men who were shouting slogans in the middle of the street in the early hours of Wednesday morning. But the gang rounded on him, and he was left with a swollen nose and blood all over his face.

Partygoers had earlier thrown garden furniture and full beer cans at another neighbour, pensioner Yvonne Doyle, who with her family had complained about the noise, only to be told it was a student area and they should move if they wanted peace and quiet.


Ben’s wife Becky said: “Ben is the kind of guy who feels he should say something if people are behaving badly, so he went out when the lads were coming out of the house and down the street, shouting “We are England!” and other inflammatory stuff.

“Ben came out and asked them what they thought they were doing, and followed them a few doors down. They were shouting at him and swearing, telling him to go home and watch his catch up TV.

“Then they just turned on him. I ran outside, and they were around him and his face was covered in blood.

“One of them had headbutted him and punched him in the face, and a full can of beer was smashed into his face so it exploded too.

“I think some of the students from the house were involved in stopping it. Ben didn’t punch back at all.”

Yvonne’s daughter Toxi Doyle said they were notified of the party at 10pm that night, and she and her brother knocked on the door for half an hour asking for the music to be turned down.

She said: “They came to the door and told us they’re in higher education, it’s a student street and if we want to live somewhere quiet we should move.

“My mum got full beer cans and chairs thrown at her. She wasn’t hurt, but she was very shaken up. We called the police, who turned up and went into the house, but when they  left, we could hear cackling and laughing and we could hear them saying the most disgusting things.

“Later, I was at the front door holding a candle asking them to be quiet, and I got three or four girls physically pushing me back into my house, saying I was a lower class to them, what will I ever amount to, calling me a fat s***, it was really quite shocking.

“This is the recurring line, that it’s a student area and we should move out. But we have been living here for ten years and it wasn’t a student area until the HMOs started popping up.”

Yesterday morning, the door was answered by three young women who appeared the worse for wear but unwilling to talk about what had happened, except to say the violence was nothing to do with them.

The house is owned by Tania Rayward, who with her husband Donald owns the house in nearby Bernard Road where students were moved in after a council enforcement notice requiring it to be turned back into a family home had been upheld on appeal.

Meanwhile, Yvonne and Toxi Doyle are now looking into sound proofing the house, which will cost a couple of thousand pounds.

And Becky agreed that the idea that bad behaviour is acceptable in “student areas” needs to be scotched. She said: “This is a family area, there’s elderly people living here too, it’s not like they should have the attitude that it’s a street version of halls of residence.

“We really love our students on either side of us. There are parties, but happy parties where people are nice if you say turn it down a bit. Ben always says just be glad it’s the noise of people having fun.

“But this – their parents would be horrified. We actually spoke to the mum of one of the students living in the house this morning, and she seemed mortified.”

A police spokeswoman said: “Police were called shortly after midnight on Wednesday, December 2 to report of an assault on Brading Road in Brighton.

“A 42-year-old man had been assaulted after becoming involved in an altercation with another group of men.

“The suspect is described as early 20s, around 5ft 11in, stocky with blonde hair with a quiff and a parker style jacket.

“Police are investigating and are appealing for any further witnesses to make contact on quoting serial 8 of 2/12.

“We were also called to a report of a noisy party in the same road, just after midnight.

“When a neighbour asked them to be quiet she claimed they threw objects at her. When police attended the party had broken up and they had left the area.”

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Students should be expelled/sent down from when they behave like this. Their collective sense of entitlement needs addressing by the universities

  2. Anthony Smth Reply

    I would recommend that the residents of Brading Road contact the private sector housing team at either Brighton or Sussex University (depending on where their student neighbours are studying). Both universities seem to be much more active in controlling the misbehaviour of students in the community these days. Not least they reinforce the message that there is no such thing as a ‘student area’ other than on-campus accommodation. If students ignore the housing team, then ultimately the university can make it a disciplinary matter. In addition to the universities, try Environmental Health as they also seem to take this sort of antisocial behaviour very seriously.

    Students need freedom to study and should be able to live within the community. But they also need learn to respect their neighbours – sadly some of them seem to lack maturity and need this sort of thing pointing out to them.

  3. Alec newton Reply

    probably the best solution would be that the university should be made to provide on site accommodation . Students pay high fees and should expect to be with there fellow students and friends. Students should be able to enjoy themselves in there own exclusive area . Neighbours to student houses should allowed to enjoy the quiet residential areas where they live as most have to work everyday to pay there house mortgage. Landlords would be less pressured be all the complaints and would find more suitable tenants they would be happier with, everybody wins !.

  4. Ashamed Reply

    As a student myself, I feel completely disgusted and ashamed that these sort of people think it acceptable to behave in such a manner. I remember moving into my house in second year I noticed there were families either side of the house we moved into, I introduced myself and gave them my phone number to let me know if they were disturbed by us at all. To think that these people represent our student community is sickening, and I can only hope that the residents of Brighton don’t experience this disrespect firstly, and secondly that students aren’t judged as a whole because of these absolute turds

  5. Cheryl Reply

    They should all be evicted. If they can’t study without making other peoples’ lives a misery, maybe they should get jobs.. This sort of behaviour makes me wish we still had national service.

  6. Steve Reply

    Anytime fingers are pointed at students they bleat they are being picked on. However, anyone resident in Brighton knows that loudness, drunken threatening behaviour, vandalism and overall obnoxiousness will increase the moment terms starts. We live on a route used regularly by drunken students and have to put up with our front door being kicked, banged on and urinated on. Asking them to stop always results in abuse and ridicule and occasionally threats of violence . Given how often we hear students complain no about their lot I find it curious a sizeable amount of them treat others citizens liked dirt.

  7. Ben Stokes Reply

    We live next door to a “student” house/or HMO.

    We put up with many years (20 years to be precise) of the little darlings, their frequent all night parties till 7am at weekends (AND during the week too), the owner of the property didn’t seem to give a toss, and the noise control department of the council was next to USELESS!

    We spent nearly £2000 on sound insulation which we installed ourselves, which cured the majority of the problems – usually!

    Finally, we now have a normal young family living next door to us, where the occasional noise of children screaming is a real blessing! I kid you not!

    Quite a few students we have encountered, and there are another 5 houses on our road now, simply don’t seem to care that their getting back in from clubbing at 3am or so on a weekday, and shouting as they walk down the street, could possibly disturb anyone other than their selfish little selves.

    Before you say I’m anti-student, I’m not, I was one for 4 years, but we NEVER were like the current generation of mostly (not all) self obsessed yobs.

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