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Thug who hurled bottle at police banned from following Coleraine FC

By Nevin Farrell

Published 03/06/2016

University student Chris Mahood has been banned from Coleraine
University student Chris Mahood has been banned from Coleraine

A member of a football hooligan gang called the 'Coleraine Casual Army' has been banned from following his team until the start of the next decade.

Chris Mahood (23), of Somerset Crescent, Coleraine, is believed to be the first person in Northern Ireland to receive a full football banning order.

The university student appeared at the town's Magistrates Court for sentencing after previously being convicted of disorderly behaviour. It followed an Irish League match between Coleraine and rivals Ballymena United on Boxing Day last year which the former won 2-1.

He had contested a charge of being disorderly at Tullyarton Road in the Harpur's Hill estate in Coleraine near to the Showgrounds - a regular hotspot for trouble involving Coleraine football hooligans in recent years.

The previous court had heard around 50 people left the football ground and gathered at Harpur's Hill. Police gave evidence that Mahood threw a Buckfast bottle at them which narrowly missed an officer before breaking.

At that court, Mahood had claimed he was not a member of the Coleraine Casual Army (CCA) but that his friends were and he had met them at the scene.

District Judge Liam McNally said he had made a finding of fact at the previous court that Mahood was a "fully fledged member" of the CCA.

A prosecutor told the court because the CCA are known to be "such a risk" the police were at the Harpur's Hill area on the day of the derby match. The prosecutor said a senior police officer was present in the court to explain the importance of Football Banning Orders.

Sentencing Mahood on the disorderly behaviour charge, the judge ordered him to carry out 175 hours of community service and as part of the football banning order the defendant is banned from any premises for the purpose of attending regulated matches until June 2, 2020.

He must not be within one mile of any stadium in any town where Coleraine FC is playing a regulated away match. And he must not be within a mile of Coleraine Showgrounds for two hours before or after a match.

There are other cases going through courts in the Coleraine area where prosecutors say they intend to seek banning orders.

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