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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Red card for York footie hooligans

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12:16pm 5th August 2011
(Updated 4:47pm 5th August 2011)

Eight men have been hit with banning orders barring them from York City matches ahead of the new season.

The bans are a positive step as North Yorkshire Police and York City Football continue the fight against football-related disorder.

The men have been banned from all football grounds in the country for a total of 26 years following a joint operation between North Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Police into disorder at a pub in Leeds City Centre after City’s FA Cup second round match against Rotherham United last season.

The last of the group, 26 year old Ben Thomas Morrison, from York, was issued with a three year ban at Leeds Crown Court today (Friday 5th August 2011).

In previous hearings, the other men issued with banning orders are York men, Matthew Rawcliffe, 25, who received a five year ban, Jordan Annett, 17, Michael Palfrey, 25, David Sempers, 39, and Liam Peverley 20, who all got three year bans.

Jamie Sedman, 21, of Breighton, near Selby and Richard Cuttle, 23, from Goole, also received three year banning orders.

Under the terms of the orders, the men are not allowed within half-a-mile of York City’s stadium, Bootham Crescent, for three hours before kick-off and three hours after the game. Within the same time period, they are also prohibited from being inside the city walls and in 200 metres of York train station.

They are also required to sign in at a specified police station whenever the England national team play a fixture abroad.

Breaching the terms of a football banning order carries a maximum prison sentence of six months.

North Yorkshire Police will continue to take a firm stance against people intent on causing trouble at football matches and are working closely with York City Football Club to ensure that troublemakers are identified and dealt with.

Chief Inspector Dave Hannan, of York Safer Neighbourhood Command, said:

“North Yorkshire Police take the issue of disorder at football matches very seriously and I welcome the latest banning orders that have been issued.

“These people are not football fans and merely use matches as an excuse to cause trouble, which spoils things for genuine fans, who are there to enjoy the game.

“Anyone intent on attending York City matches and causing trouble this season should be aware that there will be a police presence and the intelligence we gather on match days means that there is a good chance that you will be identified. 

“Banning orders are a successful way of dealing with football-related disorder and as we have shown in the past, we are not afraid to use them.

“We are working closely with York City to ensure that the minority of ‘fans’ do not spoil for genuine supporters what promises to be a successful season for the club.”

York City Football Club's Operations & Safety Manager, Chris Tock said:

"We have been working closely with North Yorkshire Police to ensure individuals who use football as a vehicle for violence and disorder are identified and dealt with accordingly. 

“This season York City will be issuing our own Ejections and Banning Policy, which will be available to view on our official website. This is an unambiguous document, which clearly defines our regulations regarding ejections from the ground and the issuing of banning orders.

"As we progress towards the new community stadium for York, we are dedicated to eradicating anti-social behaviour by a small minority who attend our matches. We are committed to providing a safe, inclusive environment for our supporters, while maintaining a passionate, exciting atmosphere at our games."

West Yorkshire Police, who were instrumental in gaining the banning orders for the eight men, have warned that any fans travelling to or through their area will also be strongly dealt with should they cause any trouble.

Chief Superintendent Mark Milsom, of West Yorkshire Police’s City and Holbeck Division, is responsible for the Football Banning Unit.

He said:

“Travelling supporters need to be aware that their behaviour is closely monitored by our officers, who provide any evidence of incidents to their local police force to support applications for Football Banning Orders.

“I would strongly urge any supporters thinking of coming to West Yorkshire and becoming involved in football-related disorder to think again, because they are just as likely to receive a Football Banning Order as anyone else.”

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