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Guarding

Fan bans

A Bolton Wanderers fan has been banned from all football matches for the next four years. Jordan William Holden, 19, of Wardle Street, Bolton, appeared at Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 25 January, where he pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour.

The court heard Holden was at Macclesfield rail station on Saturday, 7 January, with the intention of attending the FA Cup match between Macclesfield Town and Bolton Wanderers, when, after a man he was travelling with was arrested, he became aggressive towards British Transport Police officers.

Holden made as if to punch one of the officers before he was arrested and taken into custody.

At court he was given a 12 month community order, told to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and was handed the four-year banning order.

Chief Inspector Eddie Wylie said: “The order means Holden will be banned from all organised football matches in the UK for a period of four years and will be prohibited from travelling abroad on dates when football matches are played outside of the UK.

“The imposition of the order shows, clearly, that the courts take a dim view of anyone who carries out anti-social or violent acts, particularly when associated with football.

“The vast majority of football fans are law abiding and a credit to the clubs they follow, but a small minority seek to spoil this good reputation and this is why both the police and the wider criminal justice system make such efforts to bring them to justice.

“Through his violent actions, Holden will now miss the next few seasons and will be prevented from following the team he supports.”

CI Wylie added: “Other football fans who seek to cause trouble on the railway should take note and can expect similar treatment from the police and the courts.

“We will not tolerate any form of criminal or anti-social behaviour and will not hesitate to take action against anyone who steps out of line and brings the wider group of football fans into disrepute.”

A Birmingham City fan, who lives in Somerset, has been handed a fresh three-year Football Banning Order after being caught flouting a previous ban after he attempted to travel abroad to watch a Europa League match.

Stephen Mark Troughton, aged 51, who lives in Old Taunton Road, Bridgwater, Somerset, but follows Birmingham City FC, was among a group of fans stopped by British Transport Police (BTP) officers in an operation at St Pancras International railway station on 19 and 20 October 2011.

BTP officers, in conjunction with colleagues from West Midlands Police, set up the operation to prevent Birmingham City fans who had been subjected to banning orders from travelling on Eurostar trains to watch their club play a Europa League fixture against Club Brugge in Belgium.

At around 8.10am on 20 October 2011, Troughton was one of a number of fans whose details were checked by police as they attempted to board a Eurostar service.

The checks revealed Troughton was at the stage serving a Football Banning Order imposed on 29 February 2009, one of the conditions of which required him to surrender his passport within specified times when football matches involving Birmingham City were taking place abroad.

Troughton was arrested for breaching the order. Further enquiries by BTP revealed he had failed to notify the authorities of a change of address, had failed to surrender his passport on five occasions between August and October 2011, and had also failed to report to Weston-super-Mare police station.

Troughton was interviewed on 30 November 2011 in relation to all of the above breaches.

He confirmed he had been the subject of a banning order when he was stopped at St Pancras station on 20 October 2011 but claimed he did not believe the ban related to Birmingham City away fixtures.

With regard to him failing to surrender his passport and report to Weston-super-Mare police station, Troughton claimed it was too expensive for him to travel there from his home in Bridgwater.

At North Somerset Magistrates’ Court on Monday, January 30, Troughton was convicted of six breaches of the Football Banning Order which had been imposed in February 2009.

He was handed a fresh three-year football banning order, ordered to carry out 60 hours community service and told to pay £85 costs.

Under the terms of his latest order, Troughton must not enter any premises in which football is being played in England, Scotland or Wales.

When Birmingham City are playing at home, he is not to enter the stadium and designated parts of the city from four hours before to four hours after a match.

At away fixtures, Troughton is also not permitted to enter the town or city boundary in which the fixture is taking place.

On a day when Birmingham City are playing an away game or the England national team are playing a home game, Troughton is also banned from travelling on the rail network or London Underground transport system.

He will also be required to surrender his passport when Birmingham City or England are involved in matches abroad.

BTP Football Banning Order Officer Dan Hursit said: “BTP works hard with our colleagues from other police forces around to country to enforce the conditions for Football Banning Orders, including intelligence-sharing and joint operations at ports when matches are being played abroad.

“So-called ‘fans’ who are issued with Football Banning Orders are only too willing to engage in the type of behaviour which initially leads to their ban, and many are then unwilling to conform with the conditions set out in the ban.

“This was one such example and joint working with West Midlands Police and Avon and Somerset Constabulary ensured that, on this occasion, Troughton was intercepted, put before the courts and dealt with appropriately.”


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