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Men sentenced in connection with football disorder in Watford

 Published on: 6th November 2015   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category: Watford FC

Ten men have been sentenced for their part in a fight which broke out between supporters before the Watford FC v Bolton Wanderers football match in August 2014. The men have also been given Football Banning Orders to prevent them from attending football matches, both domestic and international, for the next three years. The disorder broke out in Market Street between the two groups of supporters who were on their way to the game on Saturday, August 9. During the incident a street sign amongst other items, was thrown, putting police officers, families and shoppers in danger. Superintendent Sue Jameson, who leads the constabulary’s response to football matches said: “This was the first game of the season and the behaviour displayed by the so-called supporters was disgraceful, particularly because it happened in front of young children and people going about their daily business. “This was something both the constabulary and Watford Football Club took extremely seriously and we immediately worked together to identify the people involved. An arrest phase was planned shortly after, which sent a strong message to those suspected of being involved as well as anyone else who may think this behaviour is acceptable, that we will not tolerate football violence in Watford.” Glynn Evans, operations director at Watford Football Club said: “Watford Football Club is pleased that the court has dealt robustly with those who used football as a vehicle for engaging in disorder and congratulate Hertfordshire Constabulary on delivering the evidence necessary to secure these convictions.” The following men pleaded guilty to affray at an earlier hearing at St Albans Crown Court on May 13 and were sentenced at court on Friday (October 30) Joseph Griffiths, aged 30 and of Theobald Street, Borehamwood was sentenced to three months imprisonment after being identified as throwing a shop sign. Tommy Cochrane, aged 18 and of Heysham Drive, Watford and Darren O’Brien, aged 24 and of On The Hill, Watford were ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work, pay £150 costs and a £60 community order surcharge. Jordan Johnson, aged 22 and of Jethro Street, Bolton was ordered to complete 130 hours unpaid work, pay £150 costs and a £60 community order surcharge. Stuart Burton, aged 49 and of Freshfield Avenue, Bolton was ordered to complete120 hours unpaid work, pay £100 costs and a £60 community order surcharge. The following men entered a not guilty plea and were found guilty following a trial which started on October 12. Jake Farquharson, aged 19 and of Russell Court, Bricket Wood was ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work, pay £1,000 costs and a £60 community order surcharge. Marcus Page, aged 20 and of The Mead, Watford was ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work, pay £250 costs to be paid and a £60 community order surcharge. Christopher Smith, aged 24 and of Milton Road, Radcliffe, Bury was ordered to complete 140 hours unpaid work, pay £500 costs and a £60 community order surcharge. Phillip Hales, aged 42 and of Devon Close, Little Lever, Bolton was ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work, pay £1,000 costs and a £60 community order surcharge. Ashley Lowe, aged 27 and of Homasson Close, Bolton was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £15 costs. All men were given a three year Football Banning Order upon conviction. Breach of an order is a criminal offence and is punishable by a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison. Supt Jameson added: “We will always explore the option of obtaining a Football Banning Order for these types of offences. They are a very powerful tool to prevent further incidents of disorder and means that other supporters can attend matches in a safe environment. I am happy that these men have now faced justice and I am pleased to say that there have been minimal incidents since.”    

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