Sunderland fan who threatened to bomb Fratton Park and shoot Portsmouth fans is spared jail

A 22-year-old man who threatened to bomb Portsmouth's football ground and shoot supporters during the team's League One play-off match against Sunderland has been spared jail.

The tweet by Kieran Richardson about blowing up Pompey fans
The tweet by Kieran Richardson about blowing up Pompey fans

Kieran Richardson, of Northallerton Road, Brompton, North Yorkshire, made the threats on Twitter ahead of the game at Fratton Park on May 16.

His comments prompted the club to increase security measures.

Richardson was arrested on the day of the game and at a hearing at York Magistrates' Court in June pleaded guilty to making a malicious communication.

Fratton Park

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He was sentenced today to a 12-month community order, with a three-month curfew and 25-day community rehabilitation requirement, court staff said.

North Yorkshire Police said Richardson posted two tweets on May 15 in response to a message by a Portsmouth fan about throwing a smoke bomb at Sunderland supporters.

He wrote: ‘I wonder how many Portsmouth fans I can shoot. Everyone remember the Manchester Arena bombing, just imagine Fratton Park going bang.

‘Well, let's find out tomorrow. PS I'm hoping to kill at least 150 Portsmouth fans, fingers crossed.’

In another tweet, he wrote: ‘Bomb, bomb Fratton Park, the Portsmouth fans will die. Going to be fun tomorrow.’

In response to the messages in May, Portsmouth FC and Hampshire police made statements reassuring fans that increased policing and security would be in place at the match, with a club spokesman saying that there were enhanced security checks in place.

Court staff said Richardson was ordered to pay an £85 surcharge and £85 costs.