Fans admit brawl before Walsall FC game

Sixteen football hooligans – including four teenagers – have admitted taking part in a massive town centre brawl before a Walsall away match against Shrewsbury Town.

hooligan
Stephen Hawkesford, Andrew Copeland, Ross Gall, Luke Dodd, Alexander Pugh, Aaron Pinches, Paul Walker, David Jones, Shaun Peach, Russell Wilson, Simon Llewellyn, Callum Gwilliams, Callum Marsh, Daniel Jones and Lewis Gardiner

The violence happened before the League One match on October 14 last year.

They have been warned by a judge that they could face lengthy bans from football matches for their actions.

The fighting in Shrewsbury started in Mardol before spilling into Smithfield Road in front of horrified Sunday shoppers.

Three police officers were injured as they tried to restore order, including Pc Lee Saunders, who suffered a broken leg.

Yesterday, when they appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court, all 16 defendants were banned from attending any Premier League or Football League matches until they are sentenced. They must also stay away from Shrewsbury’s Greenhous Meadow stadium as a condition of being granted bail.

Fifteen of the defendants admitted charges of violent disorder.

They were Shrewsbury residents Russell Wilson, aged 47, Lewis Gardiner, 18, Alexander Pugh, 18, Calum Marsh, 23, Stephen Hawkesford, 36, David Jones, 36, Callum Gwilliams, 19, Luke Dodd, 24, 19-year-old Aaron Pinches, Daniel Jones, 25, Shaun Peach, 24, and Simon Llewellyn, 34, as well as Paul Walker, 42, and Andrew Copeland, 38, both from Church Stretton, and Ross Gall, 29, from Weston-super-Mare.

Another man, Talal Alsadek, 29, from Shrewsbury, denied a charge of violent disorder but admitted encouraging other people to engage in violence. He will not face trial for the violent disorder charge.

Judge Robin Onions said the men could all face longer bans from football matches as part of their sentences, and granted them all conditional bail.

They will all be sentenced in the week of September 16.

Two further men have denied charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in connection with the brawl. They will face trial on a date to be set.

In total, 29 people were charged over the incident, and the men from the West Midlands involved will appear at Shrewsbury Crown Court next week.

In May, eleven suspected football hooligans from Walsall appeared in court over the violence.

The men were granted conditional bail until another hearing before magistrates before the case was sent to trial at crown court. Seventeen Shrewsbury Town fans were up in court in the days before the Walsall fans in connection with the same violence.