Five teenagers jailed for attacking Watford fan

09/09/2016

Five Wolverhampton Wanders supporters have today been jailed and handed football banning orders totalling 33 years for their part in the attack of a Watford fan following a football match that took place between the two clubs in March 2015.

On 7 March 2015, Nic Cruwys, had travelled to the match at Molineux with a group of Watford supporters. Following the match the group had planned to go to a local pub before making their way back to Wolverhampton train station

On the way to the pub they were attacked by a group of Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters.

The victim was seriously injured as a result of the attack and he was taken to hospital where he was placed into a medically induced coma.  He remained in various hospitals for three months and he has been left with significant memory loss, issues with his mobility and his cognitive function.   

Today, the defendants were sentenced as follows:

  • Robert Beech, 19, pleaded guilty to using threatening/abuse/insulting words with intent to cause fear of / provoke unlawful violence and was sentenced two years, suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work - football banning order for three years
  • Joseph Lister, 19, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and was sentenced to 30 months at a Youth Offenders Institute -football banning order for eight years
  • Ryan Meer, 19, pleaded guilty to affray and was sentenced eight months, suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work - football banning order for four years
  • Connor Pearson, 16, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and was sentenced to 12 months at a Youth Offenders Institute - football banning order for eight years
  • Joe Wood, 15, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and was sentenced to four years and eight months at a Youth Offenders Institute - football banning order for 10 years

Ian Crooks, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"This was a short but nonetheless a vicious incident of football violence that has left Mr Cruwys with significant injuries from which he is unlikely to make a full recovery. It was as unprovoked as it was callous, and it was carried out by a group of so called Wolverhampton Wanders fans who had gone to the football match clearly looking for trouble.

"Such actions not only bring the name of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club and the vast majority of its supporters into disrepute, they also tarnish the reputation of the vast majority of football supporters from all clubs. I have no doubt those genuine football supporters, whichever team they follow, will be horrified by the mindless thuggery portrayed in this incident.  Such behaviour has no place in sport, or indeed in our wider society.

"The football supporting community and the wider public can be reassured that incidents of football related violence will be robustly prosecuted and applications made to have those found guilty of such offences, banned from attending future football matches for a considerable length of time".