POMPEY thugs involved in football violence against Plymouth counterparts have appeared in court for their sentencing hearing.
Hooligans terrorised the city centre ahead of the match at Fratton Park on April 14 last year as Pompey and Plymouth hooligans clashed in the ‘dockyard derby’.
Extra police were drafted in to counter the threat of violence from 9.30am on match day - at a cost of £43,000 to the taxpayer. Pompey stumped up £13,000 as well towards extra policing.
Violence flared around Guildhall Square as Pompey fans threw missiles and lashed out at police officers and Plymouth fans at various points leading up to the 2.30pm kick off.
Footage of the violent scenes was played at Portsmouth Crown Court showing the trouble.
Sentencing hearings are taking place every day this week before the 16 defendants will find out their punishment for violent disorder on Thursday.
Prosecutor Simon Jones said: ‘There were surges of Portsmouth fans trying to get to Plymouth fans. Police were trying to keep fans apart to prevent violence.’
Defendants in court today were:
-Matthew Allison, 33, of Frogmore Lane, Waterlooville.
-Robbie Fowler, 22, of April Square, Landport.
-Anthony Hopkins, 21, of Langley Road, Buckland.
-Ryan Keating, 20, of Oxenwood Green, Havant.
-Tommy Russell, 19, of Appleshaw Green, Havant.
-Richard Hampshire, 26, Tudor Crescent, Cosham.
Pompey hooligans swarmed around the Wetherspoons pub Isambard Brunel where Plymouth fans had gathered as police with batons battled to keep order.
‘Allison is with a group of fans outside the pub when he throws missiles,’ Mr Jones said. ‘But for the police cordon and being pushed back by them he would have confronted the away fans. He was at the front of group.’
Fowler, who was the only defendant to deny the charge before he was found guilty at trial, was said by Mr Jones to have kicked out at a police dog and was part of the group who was ‘ready for violence’.
Further melees broke out along Winston Churchill Avenue including where a Plymouth fan was kicked while on the floor. ‘(Keating) runs over and kicks a Plymouth fan while he was on the floor,’ Mr Jones said.
Russell also struck out and kicked the man while he was on the floor after launching missiles at opposing fans. During police interview he confessed and said: ‘That was bang out of order what I did. I can’t believe I did that.’
Hampshire, a ‘ high performing’ hardware engineer for BAE Systems who had no previous football violence, was also one of the men who stuck the boot in. But defence barrister Edward Hollingsworth denied the kick was to the head - with him saying it was to the back. ‘He is ashamed of his behaviour,’ his barrister said.
The role of Keating and Hopkins was also played down by defence barrister Sam Barker with him describing the kick from the pair of them as only being ‘fleeting’ and not meant to cause any serious harm.
Other defendants who will be sentenced this week include:
-Shane Bartram, 25, of Goodwood Road, Southsea.
- Connor Bowen, 19, of Lower Farlington Road, Farlington.
-Louis Glasspool, 25, of Tudor Crescent, Cosham.
-Harley Hawkins, 18, of Whitecliffe Avenue, Copnor.
-Simon Hore, 32, of Medina Road, Cosham.
-Tommy Houlden, 18, of Hayling Avenue, Copnor.
-Harry Jarvie, 21, of Manor Road, Buckland.
-Sean Mitchell, 45, of Chaucer Drive, Chichester.
-Asa Palmer, 22, of Sea View Road, Drayton.
-Jack Stobart, 22, of April Square, Landport.
A 16-year-old boy, from Petersfield, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, was sentenced at Portsmouth Youth Court to a youth referral order and given a three year ban from attending matches.