Teenager involved in ‘appalling’ violence is banned from Pompey

Fratton Park
Fratton Park
James Laurie. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

Concern for Portsmouth teenager who has been missing for two weeks

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POLICE caught a teenage Pompey fan involved in ‘appalling’ football violence, a court heard.

The schoolboy, 16, was banned by a judge from attending any Pompey fixtures for three years after admitting violent disorder on the day of a Plymouth match at Fratton Park.

Portsmouth Youth Court was played footage of Pompey fans charging a police line in Guildhall Square as rival supporters arrived in the city on April 14.

The footage showed the ‘intelligent’ teenager charging at police lines until he was struck with a baton.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was then in another charge against police lines toward rival Plymouth fans on April 14.

Footage showed how despite being struck, the schoolboy was outside the designated rival supporters’ pub, the Isambard Kingdom Brunel, when coins and lighters were thrown.

Police shouted ‘go back the other way’ at him before he was later seen outside Highbury College’s restaurant in Goldsmith Avenue where a man was being kicked on the ground.

Prosecutor Gavin Sumpter showed further footage revealing after the match the boy was near Lidl among a large crowd.

Mr Sumpter added: ‘He was at Fratton rail station trying to get to the platform, he runs to Selbourne Terrace across the bridge in the effort to get to the platform.’

Police officers on bikes had to follow the boy, who was with others, to prevent them getting to the rival supporters at the station.

‘This demonstrates this isn’t a one-off in the Guildhall Square,’ said Mr Sumpter.

‘This was a persistent, and whilst not part of the violent disorder, it demonstrates this was a persistent effort to engage in football violence on that day.’

Sentencing, district judge Anthony Callaway said: ‘By a hair’s breadth you have avoided ruining your life, your future prospects, your career and further embarrassing your mother. Were this to be in the crown court you’d go straight to prison and deserve to go to prison. These sorts of things in the public mind and they expect the court to sort it out – it’s quite appalling.

‘You are an embarrassment to your mother and father.’

The boy, of Petersfield, has no previous convictions and ‘plans a career in public service’. His mother, who together with his father attended the hearing, said: ‘We’re a supportive family, we were saddened and dismayed when we discovered what he got into.’

She said her son got involved through ‘misplaced bravado’, ‘the excitement’, and ‘the ridiculous sense of drama’.

The judge imposed a nine-month youth referral order and three-year football banning order.

The boy admitted violent disorder on the first day he was in court.