Thursday, January 19, 2012

Football thugs behind bars for pub violence

THREE Bristol City football fans who clashed with QPR supporters in a violent confrontation at a pub in West London have been jailed.

Matthew Abrahams, 20, of Savoy Road, Brislington, Richard Court, 19, of St John's Road, Bedminster, and Mark Thomson, 27, of Alcove Road, Fishponds, threw bar stools at a mob who had besieged the British Queen in Uxbridge Road.

Isleworth Crown Court was told that the mob were armed with bats and planks of wood.

The violence erupted after a Championship football match at Loftus Road between the two clubs on January 3 last year.

The British Queen publican said about 14 men, some covering their faces and armed with glass bottles entered the pub.

Prosecutor Howard Tobias said: "He then noticed a group of men were walking towards the pub, some armed with timber.

"He started to shut the door but the group started to smash the door and the windows.

"There was then a fight between the opposing fans which lasted approximately ten minutes."

CCTV footage showed two of the defendants emerging from the pub with others, picking up wood and swinging it at the QPR supporters.

All three of them threw stools at them as the two sides clashed at around 5.30pm.

More than 100 Bristol City supporters are said to have travelled down on coaches which were parked up in Wood Lane, Shepherd's Bush.

Judge Martin Edmunds said the defendants chose to involve themselves in the violence rather than walk away.

He said: "Mr Abrahams is seen emerging from the pub, he picks up first one and then a second piece of wood, he is offering violence to the QPR supporters.

"He picks up what appears to be a bar stool that has been thrown out of the pub, and in turn throws it at QPR supporters."

Court, an apprentice bricklayer, also armed "himself with a significant weapon, a piece of wood, swinging it round offering violence to the QPR supporters before throwing it at them".

The judge said he was also seen "picking up a chair and throwing it at the QPR supporters," as is Thomson.

Judge Edmunds said there was no alternative to an immediate custodial sentence for the men who had all admitted violent disorder.

Thomson was jailed for 12 months and banned from attending football matches for seven years.

Court and Abrahams were sent to a young offender institution for ten and 12 months respectively. Both were given football banning orders of six years.

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