Footie fan was like wild animal

A TEENAGE football supporter is today facing accusations of behaving almost like a wild animal when reining punches down on an Ipswich Town fan.David King pleaded not guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court to threatening behaviour.

A TEENAGE football supporter is today facing accusations of behaving almost like a wild animal when reining punches down on an Ipswich Town fan.

David King pleaded not guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court to threatening behaviour.

The 19-year-old is said to have attacked the Blues supporter after seeing a friend being arrested at Ipswich station, following West Ham's victory in the second leg of last year's play-off semi finals.

The incident occurred on the 10pm train put on for the 2,500 West Ham fans and 1,200 Ipswich fans expected to use railway that night.

Sergeant Robert Munn, who headed the British Transport Police's football operation that day, told magistrates: “The general behaviour of the fans wasn't good. It was quite hostile, quite aggressive and there were various incidents on Princes Street, the station forecourt and on the platforms.

“I saw another police officer arresting another man and a group of West Ham fans already on the train got agitated and were trying to get off.

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“It was a group of about 20 and they were being particularly aggressive. King appeared to be egging the group on. He appeared to be the leader and his fists were clenched.”

Sgt Munn told how he went to the door of the train, drew his baton and shouted to get back. One of the fans shut the door and Sgt Munn said he saw King deliberately punch a man in an Ipswich Town shirt on two occasions.

He said: “He was almost like a wild animal. He was out of control and putting his total strength into it. They were proper full-bloodied punches with menace, first to the top of the man's head and then to his arms as the victim coward down and put his arms above his head for protection. There was no provocation.”

Defending King, of Hornchurch, Essex, his barrister Alan Wheetman suggested hostility described by police was actually jubilation as West Ham had won the game.

Giving evidence King said: “We were happy because we won and were singing and shouting. I was drumming the walls and ceiling of the train.

“All the West Ham fans I saw were being well behaved though.”

Defence witness Gary Templeman who was travelling with King, told the court: “The appearance of the police on the train was completely unexpected. I did not see him (King) punch an Ipswich supporter at all. We were both pulled off and arrested.

The trial continues.

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