Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Fans sentenced after station fracas

Fifteen football fans have been sentenced following a "terrifying ordeal" in which punches, kicks, and glass bottles were thrown at a train station.

Nottingham Forest fans were returning from an away fixture at Millwall on April 27 last year. On the same day Doncaster Rovers were playing a league match at Brentford which saw them promoted to the Championship.

One of the defendants, 31-year-old Jamie Johnson, a Nottingham Forest supporter, had become involved in a verbal altercation with a Doncaster supporter before the train's departure from King's Cross, British Transport Police (BTP) said.

After being threatened on the train he phoned a friend in Newark claiming he was fearing for his safety on the train.

A number of Forest and Rovers fans were also travelling on the train and had been having jovial banter between the two groups at this point.

Six Forest supporters turned up on the platform at Newark station to meet Johnson and the train. As it pulled into the station they began banging on the train window.

The Nottingham Forest fans on the train then merged with the men on the platform, exchanged threats with the Rovers fans before disorder broke out in the vestibule area of the train.

BTP said the unrest spilled onto the platform and into the train carriage, causing a number of passengers and rail staff on the train and at the station to fear for their safety.

Punches, kicks and glass bottles were thrown whilst both groups exchanged abusive threats.

During the disorder one of the defendants, Ashley Allen, 20, was stabbed in the face with a broken bottle which left him with significant facial injuries, BTP said.

A member of rail staff was also assaulted and threatened to be pushed under the train while attempting to dispatch the service.

BTP Detective Inspector Glen Alderson said: "This was a terrifying ordeal for the passengers and staff who were at the station and on the train at the time of the incident. They were left fearing for their safety and understandably shaken and traumatised by the incident.

"Glass bottles were thrown and one of the defendants involved in the fighting was stabbed in the face with a broken bottle.

"We quickly launched an investigation and detectives worked hard to gather evidence against each of the 15 defendants."

He added: "We simply do not tolerate this type of violent and barbaric behaviour.

"We've had great success in dealing with football related disorder, and serious incidents such as this are thankfully very rare on the railway network.

"By working closely with clubs, the rail industry, and football authorities, we're making inroads into tackling the type crime that can ruin match days for law-abiding fans and members of the public.

"I hope that being banned from the club, along with the sentences handed down yesterday serves as a stark reminder that football related disorder on the rail network is utterly unacceptable and will seek the maximum penalties for anyone involved."

BTP said the 15 men were sentenced after appearing at Nottingham Crown Court, having all pleaded guilty at various hearings.

Eight Nottingham Forest Supporters were all sentenced for their part in the disorder.

Steven Marsden, 54, of Bakewell Close in New Balderton, Newark was given a 12 month prison sentence and a six year football banning order for affray and grievous bodily harm.

For affray, three Newark men - Jamie Johnson, 31, of Warburton Street; Christopher Cox 48, of Brownlows Hill in Coddington; and 25-year-old Danny Smalley - were each sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and handed six year football banning orders.

BTP said Luca Tricarico, 23, of Stainfield Lane in Farington, Leyland, was given a six month prison term suspended for 18 months, 180 hours unpaid community work, £400 costs and a three year football banning order.

Ian Watson, 39, of Tennyson road in Balderton, Newark, was given 140 hours community order, £400 costs and a three year football banning order.

Steven Jaye, 25, of Mill Gate, Newark was handed a three month prison term suspended for 18 months, 140 hours unpaid community work, £400 costs and a three year football banning order.

Benjamin Weir, 22, of Winthorpe Road, Newark was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for 18 months, 140 hours unpaid community work, £400 costs and a three year football banning order.

Of the Doncaster Rovers supporters, three were sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 18 months, 140 hours unpaid community work, ordered to pay £400 costs and handed three year football banning orders.

They were Jordan Whitnall, 19, of Queen Street in Thorne; 43-year-old Graham Howarth of Springcroft Drive in Scawthorpe; and Nigel Barnes, 42, of Clevedon Crescent in Scawthorpe.

Ashley Allen, 20, of Pagnell Avenue in Thurnscoe was given a conditional discharge for 18 months and a three year football banning order.

A further three men were all handed 140 hours of unpaid community work each, three year football banning orders and ordered to pay costs of £200 for Section 4 Public Order offences of threatening behaviour.

They were Mark Redfearn, 42, of Elm Place, Armthorpe; 45-year-old Gary Flately of Westmorland Street, Balby; and Andrew Toyne, 23, of Ashton Drive in Kirk Sandall.


From Belfast Telegraph