Town fan banned after drinking session

AN Ipswich fan is today barred from Town's games after a 600-mile round trip ended with magistrates giving him a three-year banning order.The successful prosecution of Alec Smith has led to police issuing an uncompromising warning to yobs intent on causing trouble at the East Anglian derby.

AN Ipswich fan is today barred from Town's games after a 600-mile round trip ended with magistrates giving him a three-year banning order.

The successful prosecution of Alec Smith has led to police issuing an uncompromising warning to yobs intent on causing trouble at tomorrow's East Anglian derby.

The Ipswich v Norwich game at Portman Road will be the first match Smith, of Birkfield Drive, Ipswich, is prohibited from attending.

The 27-year-old travelled 300 miles to Swansea, only to plead guilty during a 15-minute hearing to being drunk while entering a football ground. His admission also cost him a �200 fine.

Failure to adhere to the ban, which also banishes Smith from entering a town or city centre four hours before or after a game, could end up in a custodial sentence.

Suffolk police's football intelligence officer Marc Norman said: "I hope this sends out a message before the game with Norwich to anyone who may be considering creating disorder.

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"This is the third football banning order that we have sought in the past six weeks and outlines Suffolk Constabulary's desire to keep match days a safe environment for supporters to attend.”

Pc Norman, who also attended the hearing in Swansea, said Smith had previously been arrested for the same offence on March 15, 2008, when Charlton came to Portman Road. He accepted a caution following that arrest.

Police said Smith caused considerable disruption before the Town game at Liberty Stadium on February 7 this year.

Pc Norman said the Ipswich fan had travelled to Wales with a group of about 25 other fans, all of whom were drinking on the train journey.

Smith was seen at the Grand Hotel, near Swansea railway station, in a highly intoxicated state. According to police he was warned on at least two occasions not to attend the match.

He was also spoken to three times about his behaviour, which Pc Norman described as argumentative and obstructive.

Smith's banning order means he can not enter a football ground in England and Wales for three years. He must also surrender his passport when England play away.

Last month self-styled 'Colonel' Leo Temple, 39, of Kelvedon Road, Colchester, and Craig Wright, 24, of Bramford Road, Ipswich, were also given three-year football banning orders by Ipswich magistrates.

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