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Football hooligans involved in mass Wolverhampton brawl banned from every stadium

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Three football hooligans involved in a mass brawl in Wolverhampton city centre have been banned from every football stadium in England and Wales for the next four years.

Ryan Richardson, aged 31, Craig Green, 27, and Jordan Banks, 18, were embroiled in clashes with a group of Leeds United fans in Stafford Street on February 9 last year.

They were all spared jail.

The disturbances, which brought traffic to a standstill, left an away fan with a fractured skull.

However Wolverhampton Crown Court heard none of the men were involved in the blow that caused the injuries to the Leeds supporter.

Trouble flared after Wolves held the Yorkshire club to a 2-2 draw at Molineux.

Danny Batth celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-2

CCTV footage showed skirmishes outside the Hogshead Pub which lasted no longer than a minute.

Richardson, of Ambleside Close, Bradley, Bilston, was seen holding his arms out to a group of Leeds hooligans 'inviting a fight'.

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The footage also showed Banks running to join the group of up to 50 people while Green's body language was suggesting 'come on' according to Mr Bernard Linneman, prosecuting.

Mr Linnemann said: "Mr Richardson is seen in white and you see him inviting the fight with the group of Leeds fans who were nearest to a coach. He denied any wrong doing in a police interview.

"Mr Banks, wearing a bag, moved with the group towards the Leeds supporters.

"Mr Green gave a no comment interview. He made obvious movement towards the Leeds supporters and gesturing in a 'come on' motion."

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Of the three defendants only Green had attended the game.

The court was told in May 2012 Richardson had been hit with a three year banning order but as he had not entered the stadium he hadn't breach the conditions.

Mr Christopher O'Gorman, defending Richardson, said: "When the Leeds supporter hit the floor the footage shows Mr Richardson holding others off from making any further attacks. He said he wasn't sure if it was a Wolves or Leeds fan that had fallen.

"After this he moves away. It is clear he contributed to the ramping up of the situation but he then stopped."

Mr Simon Williams, defending Banks, said the teenager had been foolish to get involved in the fighting.

The court heard that Banks, of Oakfield Road, Bilbrook, has aspirations of being a football coach.

Mr Williams said: "He has had this hanging over him for the last 21 months and he feels he has let his parents, grandparents and younger siblings down. He ran into the melee where the fighting occurred. He now realises how this would have looked to on looking members of the public."

Mr Ekwall Tiwana said Green, of Richborough Drive, Dudley, had drunk too much alcohol.

He added: "Craig Green had a legitimate reason to be in Wolverhampton city centre to the day of this offence as he had attended the football match.

"He had drunk too much and was in the area where the Leeds supporters were and got himself involved and started gesturing towards them. To his shame he finds himself in court."

Richardson and Green pleaded guilty to affray while Banks was found guilty after a trial.

Richardson was handed an eight month sentence suspended for two years. He was put on electronic curfew for three months between 7pm and 7am and must carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

Banks received a 12 month sentence suspended for two years. He must do 250 hours of unpaid work.

Green was handed a nine month sentence suspended for two years and must also carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

All three men were given a football banning order preventing them from entering football grounds in England and Wales for the next four years.

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