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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Luton fans targeted by football yobs after Carlisle Utd game

Two football yobs targeted opposition fans as trouble broke out following a Carlisle United game.

Police today said they would not tolerate anybody causing problems on match day as a court heard how one of the yobs called for violence with rival supporters while the other was “bouncing for a fight” and ran at them in the street.

The two men appeared separately at North Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in Carlisle to be sentenced for their behaviour after United’s first game of the season at home to Luton Town.

The court heard how Richard James Bell, 27, of Richardson Street, Denton Holme, Carlisle, was spotted by police after the match with a group of about 25 Blues fans who were known to pose a risk of trouble.

He was seen to run across Warwick Road with “clenched fists” towards Luton supporters, swearing at them.

Julie Hanson, prosecuting, said he looked very angry and was “bouncing for a fight”.

Bell admitted using threatening behaviour with intent to cause fear. He also pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine, which was found in a police search.

Martin McAlistair, in mitigation, said his client had felt a knock on the back of the head from somewhere. He looked around and one of the Luton fans was smiling towards him.

Bell was given a one-year community order, ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay court costs of £85.

Also appearing in court was David Walker, 25, of Talkin Tarn, near Brampton.

The court heard he went to the game with his grandad but after the match left him and walked up Warwick Road towards the city centre.

Police watched as he started to shout abuse towards the Luton fans, asking them to come across the road to fight.

Walker, the court heard, felt “goaded” by the away fans. He had drunk about eight pints before the match.

Mr McAlistair, also speaking on behalf of Walker, said he attended most games and this was an isolated incident.

Walker admitted using threatening behaviour with intent to cause fear.

Magistrates imposed a one-year community order and an eight-week 9.30pm to 4.30am curfew. He has to pay courts costs of £85.

Speaking after the cases, Superintendent Justin Bibby told the News & Star: “As a result of continued close working with the club, football-related crime in Carlisle is not a regular occurrence.

“On the isolated occasions it does occur, we work swiftly to deal with offenders and bring them to justice.

“The overwhelming majority of football fans enjoy their sport responsibly and we will not tolerate a minority interfering with that enjoyment.”

Carlisle were beaten 1-0 at Brunton Park by Luton on August 9 in a game that drew a crowd of 6,760 fans, including a large travelling support.

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