Four men involved in the mass gang brawls that exploded in the centre of Inverurie in 2017 have been hit with fines worth hundreds of pounds.
Residents of the Aberdeenshire town were left terrified after groups of youngsters from across the north-east descended onto its streets in May of that year.
Witnesses recalled looking out of their window and seeing dozens of youths fighting on the streets – some covering their faces with bandanas and balaclavas.
Many travelled from as far afield as Oldmeldrum, Stonehaven, Portlethen and the Kincorth area of Aberdeen by car or train for the pre-arranged scraps.
Yesterday four men, who all had differing levels of involvement in the fights, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
Harry Smith and Kyle Watt, who are both 21, admitted to breach of the peace, as did 18-year-old Cameron Rae and Mark Ross, 23.
Defence solicitor Iain Hingston, who represented Smith, suggested that if the group were able to prove they had been behaving since the fights then they could simply be reprimanded and set free.
But fiscal depute Anna Chisholm said each of the accused had since come to police attention “to varying extremes”, with all four facing further allegations.
The court heard the men were part of a group from Inverurie who had agreed to meet with others from Aberdeen to stage a fight.
On several evenings between May 5 and 8 that year, the men were said to have been shouting and swearing, challenging others to fight and “gesticulating in an aggressive manner”.
They were also seen walking into the path of traffic and shouting abuse at police officers attempting to break up the crowds.
Sheriff Robert McDonald imposed fines on each man, based on how much havoc they had caused over the two days.
For being “in the thick” of the fights over both evenings Watt, of Craigshannoch in Inverurie, was fined £320.
Meanwhile Rae, of Stonefield Place in Inverurie, was ordered to pay £160 while 23-year-old Ross, from the town’s Nicol Road, was fined £240.
Smith, of Hallforest Drive in Kintore, was ordered to pay £120, the lowest of the four fines, because he had been seen trying to keep the peace among the groups.
Ward councillor Neil Baillie said: “Anti-social behaviour is not tolerated in Inverurie.
“When this incident happened, police dealt with the situation very well and were quickly in control of the situation.
“Fortunately, no-one was hurt during the violence, due to the quick and effective action taken by local officers.
“If any similar violence of such a scale was ever to occur again, police would take the appropriate reaction.”
In the wake of the 2017 incidents, additional police patrols were put onto the streets of Inverurie to head-off the potential for further incidents and reassure the public.
Three other brawlers involved in the fights will be sentenced later this month.