TWO men have appeared in court over their alleged roles in a large-scale early evening pub disturbance, more than two years since the incident.

Byron Tony Bowers has already admitted his involvement in violent disorder, at the Bay Horse, in Fore Bondgate, Bishop Auckland, on May 26, 2017.

But the prosecution does not accept the basis of his plea.

His counsel, Stephen Hamill, said he does not agree with the Crown’s suggestion that he “called in the cavalry”, summoning friends to the pub, after an initial altercation with three men playing pool.

Several other men arrived and the disturbance developed around the pool table.

Mr Hamill said his client admits being involved but explained the phone call he made was to his partner to explain he had gone for a drink after work and telling her when he would be home.

A trial of issue, or Newton hearing, will be heard in a fortnight to decide on what basis he is sentenced.

The 28-year-old defendant, of Grey Street, Bishop Auckland, was bailed to return for that hearing on October 24, alongside co-accused, Lee Maddison, 31, of Westhills Close, Sacriston, who is yet to plead.