Bully loses appeal after ref threat

A FELIXSTOWE bully who threatened to "sort out" the referee of his son's under-13 football game is counting the cost of his thuggish behaviour today.Unemployed father-of-three Clement Turner had to be held back by a linesman as he hurled abuse at Graham Apperley in front of the youngsters, after the ref awarded a penalty against his boy's team.

A FELIXSTOWE bully who threatened to "sort out" the referee of his son's under-13 football game is counting the cost of his thuggish behaviour today.

Unemployed father-of-three Clement Turner had to be held back by a linesman as he hurled abuse at Graham Apperley in front of the youngsters, after the ref awarded a penalty against his boy's team.

A judge at Ipswich Crown Court told Turner he must now may a further £200 in costs after his appeal against his conviction for threatening behaviour failed.

The hearing was told the 48-year-old former forklift truck driver, who had been watching from the sidelines, lost his temper and confronted Mr Apperley immediately after the final whistle.


You may also want to watch:


Mr Apperley had been in charge of the Kesgrave versus Felixstowe Modern United game at the Millennium Sports Ground in Kesgrave.

Mr Recorder John Foy QC heard Turner told Mr Apperley his decision to award the penalty was disgraceful and that he was going to "sort him out".

Most Read

Mr Apperley told the court: "I felt threatened. I feared for my safety."

He said he tried to avoid confrontation with Turner, but felt so afraid that he asked a spectator to call the police.

Mr Apperley, who has refereed youth games for 15 years, added it was the first time he had felt compelled to do this in 1,000 games.

The court heard one of the linesman, David Fitch, had to physically restrain Turner as he abused Mr Apperley.

Giving evidence, the other assistant referee, Colin Southgate, said he watched as Mr Fitch locked his arms around the aggressive spectator to stop him from hitting Mr Apperley.

The trouble started after a Kesgrave youngster tackled the Felixstowe goalkeeper causing him minor injuries. A Felixstowe player pushed a Kesgrave player to show his disapproval of the tackle, which happened in a game on April 3, last year.

Turner, of Chepstow Road, Felixstowe, told the judge when he saw Mr Apperley pick up the ball he thought he was going to give it to the Felixstowe keeper for a free kick because of the foul against him. Instead the referee placed the ball for a penalty kick in Kesgrave's favour.

Turner said: "Everyone was flabbergasted. We couldn't believe what he was doing. Everyone was in uproar. It was a disgusting decision."

Mr Foy heard moments after the penalty was taken and the goal was scored, Mr Apperley blew his whistle to mark the end of the game.

In the witness box, Mr Fitch, of Kesgrave, said when the game finished he went over to the referee and stood between Mr Apperley and Turner with outstretched arms to act as a barrier and to give the referee some space.

Mr Fitch denied Turner was aggressive or that he had to physically to restrain him.

Turner, who told the court he was a religious man and would not lie on oath, had pleaded not guilty to using threatening behaviour at his trial last year. However he was convicted of the offence at South East Suffolk Magistrates' court.

Mr Foy dismissed Turner's appeal against his conviction.

The judge said he was not convinced by Mr Fitch's evidence because of his "demeanour" in the witness box.

He said he was satisfied Turner did use words and behaviour that were abusive and threatening.

Turner was told the six-month conditional discharge and £150 court costs imposed by magistrates would remain. He was also ordered Turner to pay a further £200 towards crown court costs.

After the appeal hearing Mr Apperley, of Capel St Mary, said: "It is ridiculous that he (Turner) has gone this far. It a waste of taxpayers' money and all for one man's crusade because he cannot accept that he was wrong.

"I am pleased mainly for football's sake, because we can do without people like that in football."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter