A POMPEY fan who was part of a ‘baying mob’ of fans lined up against rival supporters ‘lied’ about his part in the menacing scenes, a court heard.
Peter Hawkins, 48, insisted he was not guilty of violent disorder following Portsmouth’s 2-1 defeat to Oldham at Fratton Park in September last year.
Despite admitting throwing a missile toward rival fans, making a rude gesture and joining in a chant of ‘let them out’ as Pompey fans waited outside the away exit, Hawkins pleaded his innocence at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Intimidating scenes erupted inside the ground as around 20 fans stormed the pitch in an attempt to confront their rivals after Oldham went 2-0 up in the 88th minute - with officers forced to take cover from launched missiles.
While Hawkins had no part in that episode, he joined those outside the ground loitering where the away fans were due to exit. He then rushed with others when it emerged Oldham fans were being directed to a different exit, prosecutor Simon Jones said in summing up
‘The defendant chose to be part of the hostile and aggressive behaviour after going to the match with his 12 year old son and his friend,’ he said.
‘He was stood there for five minutes with the baying mob, which is a long time to be there for.
‘He is pointing aggressively, makes an inappropriate gesture and says he only threw tin foil. But he has been exposed to be a liar after CCTV showed him throwing two missiles.’
Mr Jones, who suggested it was more likely coins were lobbed at rival fans, added to the jury: ‘It is nonsense and he is insulting your intelligence. He is lying to you.’
But in defence, Paul Jones, said Hawkins had never been involved in football hooliganism in his 35 years of watching Pompey.
The barrister also added that throwing tin foil does not amount to violent disorder. ‘The crown’s case hangs on what was thrown but there is no evidence what he threw was capable of causing injury,’ he said. ‘It would be speculation to accept it was a coin.’
Mr Jones added: ‘If he is guilty of encouraging others then a lot of other people are guilty.’
The jury retired to consider their verdict.
Hawkins, of Lidsey Road, Chichester, denies violent disorder.
Four other men and a youth pleaded guilty to violent disorder at a previous hearing and await sentencing.