A UK BMX champion has walked free from court after a judge said he was impressed by the rider’s talent.
Luke Padgett, 26, pleaded guilty to common assault after a brawl broke out at a skate park in Lancaster.
We are all prone to react to how other people see us. Sometimes it’s possible to laugh it off, sometimes it’s not
Four other men are to be sentenced for affray following the incident at Halton Community Centre.
But the court heard Padgett, who rides for the UK KHE team and Halo Wheels, stood on the sidelines as the violence flared on June 25 last year.
Preston Crown Court heard Padgett, of Worthington Road, Marton, arrived at the community centre and was spoken to by an older man who said he had parked inappropriately.
One of the footballers called him an idiot and a scuffle broke out between them, and Padgett punched the man once in the face.
He then went to ride his BMX, but the court heard a car full of men arrived and started fighting.
Padgett was arrested along with the other men, and admitted hitting the man.
He did not know the other men and was not involved in the violence that followed.
Recorder Guy Mathieson, sentencing, said he had viewed Padgett’s videos online and was impressed by his talent. He said: “What you did that night was act out of a measure of frustration and irritation. We are all prone to react to how other people see us. Sometimes it’s possible to laugh it off, sometimes it’s not.
“You felt on this occasion it was justified to confront this lad.
“That quickly escalated into violence .
“Somehow a car of lads arrived. Lads who may have no relationship to you. I don’t sentence you for that.
“It is a caution that things quickly get out of hand.
“You pleaded guilty and you are of good character, and from what I have researched on the internet, a talented and skilled young man – someone who can properly be said to have acted out of character.
“I take the view that I can take the fairly exceptional course of conditionally discharging you for 12 months.
“If you let your fists get the better of you in the next 12 months this won’t be sentenced as a one off and you will be sentenced for this.”
As Padgett walked free from the dock, the judge wished him well with his BMX career.
• Four other men will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on September 16 for the brawl.