A STROUD man received a a three year football banning order.
James Cook, aged 30, appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court yesterday (Thursday) where he pleaded guilty to a section 5 public order offence and pitch encroachment.
Cook, who is a Forest Green fan, entered the pitch at the Memorial Ground in Bristol on April 23 following a League Two promotion clash between Bristol Rovers and Forest Green Rovers.
He also entered the field following the final whistle and acted in an aggressive and abusive manor towards Bristol Rovers supporters.
As well as the banning order he will have to pay £525 in fines and court costs.
The investigation was completed by Avon and Somerset Police’s dedicated football officers.
Cook will not be able to attend another regulated football match until 2025 and has to hand his passport into a police station when England are playing abroad.
Entering the pitch (or the surrounding area where spectators are not normally allowed), before, during and after a regulated football game is an offence under the Football Offences Act of 1991.
Over recent months police forces across the country have seen an increase in fans entering the pitch and officers are keen to educate supporters of the consequences ahead of FA Cup games this weekend and the Cheltenham Town vs Forest Green Rovers derby game on Saturday 10 December.
Chief Inspector Carl Bourne said: “We support Forest Green Rovers and Cheltenham Town Football Club and work closely with them to keep their playing areas safe for their players and staff, and to ensure there is no intimidation or aggression to opposing spectators from fans entering the pitch.
“Our dedicated, experienced and proactive football officers will leave no stone unturned to ensure anyone entering the pitch or committing any other offence at a regulated football match will be identified, and prosecuted where the evidence allows.
“Spectators need to be aware that a Football Banning Order can have a significant impact on people’s lives, those who have banning orders cannot attend any regulated football match in England and Wales and are unable to travel abroad when the national team is playing overseas.”
Back to: The Traffic SEO – Website SEO – News and BLOG – Gloucestershire News