Seven Bristol City supporters given Football Banning Orders

20/02/2015

The Crown Prosecution Service has successfully applied for Football Banning Orders against seven defendants who appeared on Thursday 19 February at Bristol Crown Court, banning them from matches for a minimum of three years. They had all pleaded guilty to football-related disorder offences at a hearing in December 2014.

Ricky Marsh, James Phillipps, Anthony Higginson, Stephen Maggs, Ian Brace, Craig Drew and Chris Rogers appeared today at Bristol Crown Court. In addition to the Football Banning Orders, all seven were given custodial sentences, suspended for two years, ranging from 147 days to 23 months and will have to undertake unpaid community service.

CPS Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Nicola Haywood said: "People should be able to watch football matches in safety, wherever they choose to do so and no matter what team they choose to support.

"The excellent relationship the CPS has built up with police forces has helped us to tackle violence and hooliganism at and around football matches. Football Banning Orders are an effective deterrent to those who engage in this sort of behaviour and the CPS will continue to work with Avon and Somerset police to use them as a sanction against offenders.

"CPS specialist football prosecutors work closely with the police, providing guidance and pre-charge advice. They focus on any evidence of football related violence, applying for Football Banning Orders where appropriate."

The terms of their Football Banning Orders dictate that they must not enter any premises for the purposes of attending any regulated football match in the UK; must not enter the area within 1000 metres of Ashton Gate Stadium for a period of four hours before and four hours after advertised kick off time of Bristol City home games; must not travel within the boundaries of any town where Bristol City or the England national football team are playing (or within five miles radius if in London); and must not go within 1000 metres of Bristol Rovers' home ground when Bristol City are playing there. Additionally they must report to a named police station and surrender their passports when England or Bristol City are playing outside the UK.

Sentences as follows:
  • Chris Rogers - Affray 23 months suspended 2 years, supervision 12 months, 150 hours unpaid work, £600 costs, 3 years Football Banning Order
  • James Phillipps - Affray 21 months suspended 2 years, 150 hours unpaid work, £600 costs, 3 years Football Banning Order
  • Anthony Higginson - Affray 16 months suspended 2 years, 150 hours unpaid work, £300, 3 years Football Banning Order
  • Stephen Maggs - Affray 19 months suspended 2 years, 150 hours unpaid work, £300, 6 years Football Banning Order (on account of previous order)
  • Ian Brace - using threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour with intent to cause fear of/provoke unlawful violence 147 days suspended 2 years, 100 hours unpaid work, £300, 3 years Football Banning Order
  • Craig Drew - using threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour with intent to cause fear of/provoke unlawful violence 147 days suspended 2 years, 100 hours unpaid work, £300, 3 years Football Banning Order
  • Ricky Marsh - using threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour with intent to cause fear of/provoke unlawful violence 16 months suspended 2 years, 200 hours unpaid work, £200, 3 years Football Banning Order

Breaching the requirements of a Football Banning Order is a summary imprisonable offence contrary to Section 14J of the Football Spectators Act.