Drunk football fan placed under curfew

A FOOTBALL fan who tried to enter Portman Road drunk has avoided being banned from following his beloved Colchester United because a judge declared they need all the fans they can get.

A FOOTBALL fan who tried to enter Portman Road drunk has avoided being banned from following his beloved Colchester United because a judge declared they need all the fans they can get.

Colchester United supporter David Smith insisted he could “drink for England” in an attempt to avoid a criminal record but after district judge David Cooper heard the details of his case he was placed under a curfew.

Smith was spotted in a drunken state by two police officers as he tried to enter Portman Road with his son for the Colchester versus Ipswich Town derby last month.

He was arrested and later charged with being drunk in a sports ground, but when he appeared before magistrates in Ipswich on November 2 the 43-year-old denied the charge.


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The dad from Straight Road, Boxford, near Hadleigh, told the court on that occasion: “I can drink for England.

“I can finish a case of larger and still be working properly.”

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Smith, a self-employed forklift truck driver, initially maintained his story when he appeared again at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court in front of district judge David Cooper on Wednesday.

He said although he had been to a number of pubs in Ipswich before the match he was not drunk and added: “It's not illegal to drink. I can drink a lot and I wouldn't be drunk in two hours of drinking.”

Judge Cooper advised Smith to change his plea to guilty after hearing prosecution evidence that two officers had seen him with bloodshot eyes, smelling of alcohol and with slurred speech.

Smith was then given the opportunity of watching a video of his behaviour at the time and after viewing the tape he came back into court and changed his plea to guilty.

He admitted: “I do look as though I am worse for wear.”

Judge Cooper then gave him a community order, including a two-month curfew confining him to his home between 10.30pm and 6.30am for two months excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

He added: “I won't have to ban you from following Colchester United - they need all the fans they can get.”

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