Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Manchester United fan spared court penalty as judge says: you've suffered enough

A Manchester United fan was given a by-ball by a judge for not turning up to court as "he has suffered enough".

District Judge Barney McElholm made his comments in a case when a man charged with disorderly behaviour did not show up for a hearing at Londonderry Magistrates Court.

He was referring to the club's defeat at the hands of Champions League rivals Real Madrid on Tuesday night.

The 2-1 result following a controversial sending-off put Manchester United out of the prized Champions League competition and wrecked their chances of a treble, breaking fans' hearts.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott told the judge that his client was not in court as he had travelled to Old Trafford to watch the vital clash in the last 16 knock-out stage of the football competition.

Taking no action over the non-appearance as the charges were being dropped, Judge McElholm said: "He has suffered enough and it's not for me to add to his misery."

It's thought Mr McElholm follows bitter rivals Manchester City and may also be a member of the ABU – anyone but united – school of thought.

Once when City had beaten United he came out on to the bench and said "there is a lovely blue sky today".

On another occasion, just after a Manchester derby, a solicitor was making a plea for his client and said "my client was watching the United match".

At this point the judge stopped him querying "the United match?".

The solicitor caught on and corrected himself: "My client was watching the City match."

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