Jail for hooligan who threw bottle

Jailed: David Jones.
Jailed: David Jones.

FOOTBALL hooligan David Jones has been jailed for six months after violence broke out before a Sheffield United match.

A court heard Blades fans became involved in a serious melee with a group of Middlesbrough supporters during one of the final home games of last season’s Championship campaign, which ended in Sheffield United’s relegation.

Jones, aged 27, who is already serving a prison term for another offence of violence, admitted affray in connection with the pre-match violence.

The court heard violence flared in the beer garden of The Roebuck Tavern, Arundel Gate, Sheffield city centre, on Saturday, April 9, 2011, at about 2.30pm, as the Middlesbrough fans were leaving to make their way to Bramall Lane.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court sitting in Doncaster, said seven of the visiting fans responded to comments made to them and ran back towards the beer garden. They were gesturing with their arms and goading the United fans.

CCTV footage played to the court showed various objects being thrown, including full glass of beer.

Jones, of Brightmore Drive, Netherthorpe, Sheffield, was seen to hurl a beer bottle at the opposing fans.

However, the court heard he was not involved in further violence which developed in an alleyway near the pub a few minutes afterwards.

Blades fan Kevin Searson suffered serious facial fractures and needed surgery after being kicked in the head and body by some of the Middlesbrough fans.

Mr Jones said Mr Searson is still suffering the after-effects of the attack because he has lost his sense of taste and smell and cannot bite on his food properly, as well as suffering frequent pain and a dry eye, which affects his sleep.

When Jones was arrested some time after the incident he admitted throwing a single bottle “because someone said they’re beating up United fans”.

The court was told he had numerous previous convictions for violent offences, including two for wounding.

Judge Peter Kelson, QC, sentenced him to six months to run consecutive to his current sentence and also imposed a Football Banning Order for the same duration, which will prevent him going to any football ground in the country when he is released.