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West Brom v Chelsea: Fans fined over Hawthorns pitch invasion

By Jessica Labhart | Halesowen | Crime | Published:

Four Chelsea fans and a Baggies supporter were handed fines totalling almost £1,000 for running on the pitch at the Hawthorns.

Clockwise from top left: Eugene Dunn, Andrew Oakley, Paul Stevenson, Michael Suthers, Matthew Sutcliffe and James Healy

The five ran on to the pitch when Chelsea scored the winner in a game last month which saw the London club crowned Premier League champions.

At Dudley Magistrates Court yesterday, Baggies supporters Andrew Oakley, 33, from Dudley, pleaded guilty to going on to the pitch.

Andrew Oakley, 33, from Dudley

Chelsea supporters James Healy, 37, of Portsmouth, Eugene Dunne, 48, of Northampton, Matthew Sutcliffe, 39, of Enfield and Michael Suthers, 31, of Sidcup, admitted the same charge.

Another Baggies supporter, Paul Stevenson, 54, of Fairmile Road, Halesowen, also appeared and pleaded guilty to the same charge but was given a conditional discharge.

Paul Stevenson, 54, from Halesowen

The game was on May 12 and saw London-based club Chelsea seal the Premier League title with a 1-0 win thanks to a late goal from Michy Batshuayi.

Dealing with Oakley, of Linden Road, Healy, Dunne, Sutcliffe and Suthers, Mr Kulbir Paul, prosecuting, said there had been violence at the game, but there was no suggestion any of the defendants were involved.

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“The dynamic at the match was a charged and excitable one,” he said.

"Having spoken to the football liaison officer here I have learned how there was violence in three of the stands. Chelsea supporters were told to not buy tickets in the West Bromwich end of the stands, but some supporters did.

“As Chelsea scored near to the end of the game, supporters ran on to the pitch. Now in isolation I understand that this may seem minimal but we have to consider the impact on other fans and in this case I think it was quite severe.”

James Healy, 37, of Portsmouth

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Oakley, a self-employed labourer, was given a fine of £115 reduced to £56 for his early guilty plea. He was ordered to pay costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of 30.

Healy was issued with a five-year football banning order. He was fined £166 and ordered to pay costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Dunne, who is a driver, was fined £240 reduced to £160, costs of £135 and a £30 victim surcharge.

Eugene Dunne, 48, of Northampton
Matthew Sutcliffe, 39, of Enfield

Sutcliffe, a company director, was given a £160 fine and ordered to pay costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Suthers was fined £166 and told to pay £135 costs and a victim surcharge of £30.

Michael Suthers, 31, of Sidcup

The court also dealt with Stevenson.

It heard how he came on to the pitch at the end of the game before being escorted off the pitch by police officers. He apologised following the incident.

Mr Kulbir Paul, prosecuting, said: "It was a charged atmosphere at the end of game where Chelsea were indeed crowned champions. In a bizarre move, Mr Stevenson runs on to the pitch. He is arrested by officers and escorted off."

Mr Kevin Good, defending, said: "My client admits that this was a moment of madness. He cannot explain what was running through his mind. He is remorseful and apologised straight away."

He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £20.

Jessica Labhart

By Jessica Labhart
@JLabhart_star

Reporter for the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton.

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