Colchester fans banned from matches

FOUR Colchester United fans are today subject to football bans after causing trouble at the derby match against Ipswich.A total of eight fans were up in South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday for bad behaviour at the much-anticipated derby match at Portman Road on October 23, in which Ipswich Town beat Colchester by three goals to one.

FOUR Colchester United fans are today subject to football bans after causing trouble at the derby match against Ipswich.

A total of eight fans were up in South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday for bad behaviour at the much-anticipated derby match at Portman Road on October 23, in which Ipswich Town beat Colchester by three goals to one.

Kevin Cain, 42, of Coggeshall Road, Marks Tey, was given a hefty fine and a football banning order after he admitted running on the pitch while the game was in play.

The court heard how Cain ran onto the pitch in the last minute of the game, in an attempt to retrieve the ball from the Ipswich Town crowd as it had just been kicked out of play.

Cain, a father of three, who has no previous convictions, was immediately seized by a steward and taken off the pitch.

Mitigating on his behalf, Matthew Swash, said: “At the 89th minute, the ball went into the Ipswich crowd. He went down to the crowd to ask for his ball back. He did not know it was a criminal offence and realises it was a stupid thing to do.”

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Two other fans, Peter Strong, 39, of Inworth Walk, Colchester, and David Burch, 21, of Mayberry Walk, Colchester, were also both given football bans after they pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour and having alcoholic drinks with them in the stadium.

The court heard how Strong, a staunch Colchester United supporter, was drinking a bottle of beer downstairs and ran upstairs when he heard the match had started. He did not realise he still had the beer in his hand until he got into the stadium. He was also seen later making abusive signs at opposing fans.

The father of two said: “I also work part-time at Colchester United on the turnstiles. I only went on that night because I got a free ticket.

“I think this ban is unfair. I have never caused anyone harm. It was just the excitement of the night.”

District judge David Cooper said: “I'm afraid Colchester is going to have to do without your physical support. They will have you there in spirit no doubt.”

Michael Stewart, 52, of Barrack Street, Colchester, admitted threatening behaviour after he ran up to a group of Ipswich fans and struck one of them once the match had finished.

It was heard how he had drank about ten to 12 pints of lager that night and had lashed out because apparently the fan threatened him first.

After the court hearing, Stewart said: “This is a kangaroo court.”

Pc Marc Norman, football intelligence officer for Ipswich Police, said: “Ryan Whitear, football intelligence officer for Essex Police, and myself have liaised over the past month to ensure this football fixture went well off and on the pitch.

“We are delighted with how the policing of this fixture went on the evening and are grateful for the court's support in the banning orders we have applied for. We hope this sends out a message to all football fans that if you do flout the law and commit public disorder we will seek to deal with it in a similar fashion.”

What do you think about the police presence at the games? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Kevin Cain was given a football banning order for three years, which means he cannot enter the areas in Colchester when the team is playing, he cannot go to any towns or cities where Colchester is playing and he must not attend any England national game home or abroad. When the England team is playing abroad, he is obliged to hand his passport in to the police station.

He was also fined £600, ordered him to pay costs of £65 and a victim surcharge of £15.

Michael Stewart pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour after he ran up to a group of Ipswich fans and struck one of them.

District judge Cooper fined him £250, ordered him to pay £65 costs and £15 victim surcharge.

Peter Strong, 39, of Inworth Walk, Colchester, and David Burch, 21, of Mayberry Walk, Colchester, pleaded guilty to threatening or disorderly behaviour, and possessing alcohol in the stadium.

They were both fined £100 for each offence, ordered to pay costs of £65 and a surcharge of £15.

Dean Turner, 46, of Harwich Road, Colchester, Dale McAndrew, 22, of Sparling Close, Colchester, and James Minta, 37, from Home Road, south west London, all pleaded guilty to being drunk in a designated sports ground during a sporting event. They were fined £100 each, had to pay costs of £65 and £15 victim surcharge.

David Hodgson, 33, of York Place, Colchester, pleaded guilty to possessing a disposable drink container while attending a sporting event and was also fined £100, had to pay costs of £65 and £15 victim surcharge.

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