Crackdown on football hooliganism in Bristol sees seven men in court under three weeks
A police crackdown on football hooliganism in Bristol has seen seven men appear in court in less than three weeks charged with football-related anti-social behaviour.
Four Bristol City fans are currently on trial after setting upon a Leeds United supporter who jumped up to celebrate his team scoring while sat in a home section at Ashton Gate.
Darren Priaulx was attacked during the fixture in February last year, which was won 2-0 by Leeds.
In a separate incident, Bristol Rovers fan Thomas Williams of Prospect Close, Winterbourne, was banned from attending any regulated football matches for 12 months following his arrest at the Bristol Rovers v Aston Villa match in January.
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Williams, aged 19, was charged with a public order offence and also ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work at Bristol Magistrates Court last week.
Another Bristol Rovers fan, Martin Sealey, received a three-year Football Banning Order (FBO) following his arrest at the same match.
Sealey, aged 43 and of Queens Road, Warmley, was charged with a public order offence for crimes committed after the match. In addition, he received a 12-week suspended prison sentence.
Lastly, Bristol City fan Ryan Pearson, 22, received a three year FBO following his arrest at the City v Cardiff City match in March.
Appearing at Bristol Magistrates Court on April 2, he was charged with a public order offence for which he received a conditional discharge.
There are currently 52 football fans in the Avon and Somerset area with penalties which prevent them from attending football games and, in some cases, from travelling abroad when international matches are being played.
However, Avon and Somerset's Football Officer Roger Thayer said this season had been encouraging so far from a police point of view.
He said; "The first month of the season saw no arrests being made and this has effectively been a springboard, with generally good behaviour from fans and just a few home arrests."