Aston Villa fans attacked stewards after last-minute equalizer canceled
Eight Aston Villa fans – including one from Devon – who attacked stewards in an away game after a goal was disallowed have avoided jail.
Spirits heated after an equalizing goal from Henri Lansbury was ruled out by the referee and Villa captain Jack Grealish was booked for a dip in the preparation.
A total of eight men have been charged with brawling, including Mitchell Voss, 26, of Paignton, who has been asked to do 80 hours of unpaid work and pay £ 180 in fees.
Read more:Paignton’s Aston Villa fan faces jail for attacking flight attendants
Along with Voss, Jack Baker, 22, Todd Kershaw, 36, Liam Miller, 30, Colin Fairgrieve, 54, Ryan Ross, 22, Kurt Griffiths, 42, and his son Reece Griffiths, 21, all had admitted a fight after the match at Crystal Palace’s Stadium in Selhurst Park.
At a sentencing hearing last month, Baker, Kershaw and Miller were asked to do unpaid work and Miller and Kershaw were banned from attending football games for the next three years.
Croydon Magistrates’ Court heard that the assault on stewards at Selhurst Park stadium on August 31, 2019 was captured on CCTV.
The court heard that Miller, of Birmingham, assaulted a police officer during another Aston Villa game three months later in November 2019 – for which he had received a community order.
He was given an 18-week suspended sentence for 18 months for pushing stewards and kicking stadium billboards during the August game.
Prosecutor Emek Yagmur said: “CCTV shows Mr. Miller standing in front of the podium and a goal appears to have been scored, which was then disallowed. The crowd begins to celebrate and the accused can be seen standing in make it to where the electronic hoarding is located.
“We see a flight attendant grabbing him because he’s not authorized in that area. He failed to grab him and the fence falls when the accused hits it.
“The goal is then denied and the crowd gets angry and the accused is animated with outstretched and pushing hands.
“He tries to climb the fence in the field. As he is pushed back by the stewards, he yells at them and has to be restrained by a number of other stewards.”
In addition to the suspended sentence, the forklift driver was ordered to perform 80 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £ 207 in costs and a victim surcharge.
Kershaw and Baker were released on 12-month community orders.
The prosecutor said Baker of Great Barr, Birmingham “threw several punches at the flight attendants” until he fell.
Chloe Carvell, defending Baker, said he had to resign from his role in adult social services at Birmingham City Council due to the lawsuits and is now working as a binman.
She said: “He had drunk two bottles of Stella and had not slept that day. At the time of the incident, Mr. Baker had a lump on his back.
“He fell back and hit it on metal and it caused him severe pain and that’s part of the reason he reacted so badly. He saw red and reacted in self-defense.”
Ms Carvell said neither Baker nor Kershaw were “typical football hooligans”.
She told the court that Kershaw, from Swadlincote in Derbyshire, owned a vintage car restoration business and lost an employment contract after photos of him emerged at the match.
Prosecutors said Kershaw “slapped” an officer on the head as they tried to stop another football fan who was misbehaving during the game.
This other man was never apprehended, the court said.
Ms Carvell said: “The slap was on top of the officer’s hat. Mr Kershaw reacted impulsively.
“He’s an avid Aston Villa fan. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather lived across the street from the park and he’s been attending games for 20 years and has never been involved in an incident. .
“He says he’s sorry and ashamed and embarrassed and it’s extremely contrary to his character.”
Baker was asked to perform 100 hours of unpaid work and Kershaw was asked to perform 120. They were both asked to pay the costs and a victim fine surcharge of £ 175.
At a hearing today (4 October), Fairgrieve of Wootton, Northampton was fined £ 668 for grabbing a flight attendant for ‘a few seconds’ during the melee.
Prosecutor Caroline Floyd said: “The footage shows Mr. Fairgrieve grabbing a flight attendant and then restraining him. He is being held and dragged by two men.”
Ms Carvell said the health and safety adviser was provoked by flight attendants who allegedly shouted that the fans were “white trash” and “w * nkers”.
A statement from Aston Villa Football Club was read in court, indicating that discussions had taken place over the longtime fan and it had been agreed that he could continue to support the team in matches.
The club said: “He is known as one of our most dedicated supporters. He has since signed an Acceptable Behavior Agreement to ensure exemplary conduct in the future.”
Scaffolders Kurt Griffiths of Perry, Birmingham, and his son Reece Griffiths of Great Barr, Birmingham, received three-month community orders with a six-week electronically monitored tag.
Membership holders have also been asked to pay £ 180 in court fees.
Ms Floyd said: “The footage shows Rhys Griffiths at the front of the bleachers as he pushes towards the flight attendants and is then seen grabbing another from behind. He then grabs his father and restrains him.
“Kurt Griffiths is seen in the front of the stands grabbing a flight attendant on his upper body. He falls down and is seen pushing another flight attendant away and is held back by his son.
“His behavior is described as aggressive and he is seen grabbing a policeman from behind.”
In earlier hearings Ross, of Castle Brom, Birmingham, received a community order with 150 hours of unpaid labor and paid £ 175 in fines.
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