Portsmouth fan who threw smoke bomb during Sunderland game banned from games for three years
A football fan who threw a smoke bomb which halted Sunderland's game against Pompey and left one supporter needing medical attention has been banned from games for three years.
Thick smoke engulfed an area of the Stadium of Light and delayed the match for four minutes after the incident in April.
Samuel Parrott's actions mean fans had to move from their seats to avoid the smoke, and one supporter needed treatment for smoke inhalation, South Tyneside Magistrates' Court heard.
‘The match kicked off at 3pm,’ said Lorna Rimell, prosecuting.
‘At 3.23pm Portsmouth scored a goal, at which time a smoke canister was thrown from the Lower North stand towards the Sunderland fans.
‘There was a lot of thick smoke, and the game was interrupted for four minutes.
‘People moved away from the smoke, at least one person needed medical attention.’
Parrott, 18, of Norton Drive, Fareham, was identified as the thrower from CCTV footage, the court heard.
‘He was approached by stewards and the police,’ said Ms Rimell.
‘A black canister with “smoke” written on it was found behind a seat.
‘When interviewed, Parrott said he had bought the canister the day before with the intention of setting it off if Portsmouth scored.
‘He said he had taken it into the ground in his pocket.
‘When Portsmouth scored, he pulled the pin and threw the canister.’
Parrott admitted throwing an item at a designated football ground.
Emma Hughes, defending, said in mitigation: ‘This was a stupid act rather than one designed to cause alarm.
‘It was a smoke canister, not a flare or firework.
‘Mr Parrott is not a hooligan in the accepted sense of the word.
‘He doesn't drink on match days or go about in a gang, he goes to matches on his own purely for the love of the game.
‘He has written to both clubs to apologise, and to offer to make reparation by volunteering in some capacity.
‘Sunderland has not replied, but he does have a meeting at Portsmouth.
‘He works in a fast food restaurant, and is studying marine engineering with a view to joining the navy.
‘Mr Parrott is a young man of previous good character who the court is unlikely to see again.’
Parrott was ordered to pay £253 in fines and costs, and he was banned from designated football fixtures for three years.