Football thug avoids jail sentence

A FOOTBALL thug has avoided a jail sentence after proving to a judge he could stick to court orders.Karl Burgess was given three months to show he could stay out of trouble by Judge John Devaux in October after he breeched a suspended sentence when he was drunk at an Ipswich Town match.

A FOOTBALL thug has avoided a jail sentence after proving to a judge he could stick to court orders.

Karl Burgess was given three months to show he could stay out of trouble by Judge John Devaux in October after he breeched a suspended sentence when he was drunk at an Ipswich Town match.

Burgess, 26, of Rubens Road, Gainsborough, Ipswich, was warned at that hearing that unless he sorted himself out he would go behind bars.

But when he reappeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday Judge Devaux decided he had done enough to remain a free man.

Burgess, a scaffolder, had originally been handed a suspended sentence of nine months on June 29 after admitting his part in a brawl at the Cricketers pub in Ipswich in August 2006.

He broke that sentence when he failed to turn up for probation service appointments for unpaid work and then when he got drunk at Ipswich's match against Coventry in September.

Most Read

At the game he climbed over seats, shouting and swearing in front of families with children.

After ignoring warnings from stewards he was told to leave and when he refused to do so the police were called.

When the police arrived he struggled with them and was arrested.

Burgess admitted being drunk and abusive, using threatening behaviour and obstructing a police officer and was given a three-year football banning order by magistrates in Ipswich before Judge Devaux set him the challenge of behaving for a quarter of a year.

At that October hearing Judge Devaux said: “If you have kept out of trouble and are completing your unpaid work, you can expect a community sentence.

“If not, you will be sentenced for these new offences and they will be served consecutively to the nine-month sentence which will be activated.”

When Burgess reappeared before Judge Devaux again on Wednesday his defence solicitor, Russell Butcher, said: “His behaviour has improved dramatically since the sentence in October.

“He seems to have put his words into practice. He has demonstrated in practice that he can comply with orders.”

Judge Devaux told Burgess: “I am pleased to some extent with the progress you have made.”

He then gave Burgess a 21 month supervision order and told him to pay £288 in costs.