TWO senior members of Liverpool FC’s Urchins firm who sparked a brawl with Manchester City fans at Lime Street Station were hit with football banning orders and suspended sentences after being convicted in court. They were involved in a fight after the Reds’ 3-2 win over their title rivals on April 13 2014.
Liverpool Crown Court watched CCTV footage [see above], Derek Jones, prosecuting, said one of the Liverpool fans bumped into an unknown City fan, then headbutted him. The man was seen wiping blood from his nose as the two thugs walked off towards the station’s entrance onto Skelhorne Street.
Two other City fans were stood by the door. The court heard one of them was goading Liverpool fans when the same Liverpool fan crept up alongside him and punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground.
They started fighting and then two groups, with around 15 rival fans in each, stood taunting each other. A City fan punched a Liverpool fan to the ground and was arrested by a plain clothes policeman, who he lashed out at. Merseyside Police reviewed the footage and recognised the two Liverpool fans from the notorious Urchins firm.
Mr Jones said they were “relatively high up” in the Urchins and been spotted several times in and around trouble at Liverpool matches.
One of the Liverpool fans was a scaffolder and had one previous conviction for a public order matter at a match. He also had a football banning order which expired in 2007. The other, a gas fitter, who had two previous convictions both for football-related public order matters.
Nick Cockrell, defending both Liverpool fans, said there was nothing to suggest this was an organised ‘meet’ and his clients were hard working, responsible men outside of football.
Neither the City fans involved in the incident were known to be connected to any Manchester City firm.
Judge Mr Recorder Shaw said: “Behaving so disgracefully in public at your age is quite shocking. The public are entitled to go about their business safe in the knowledge that they will not be drawn into or involved in scenes of violence.”
Recorder Shaw sentenced one Liverpool fan to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years.
He said: “You went up to a member of the public and you headbutted them in the face. That is the use of part of your body as a weapon and it is utterly cowardly. It gives the person you have assaulted little to no chance to protect themselves.”
The other Liverpool fan was given a nine-month sentence suspended for two years.
Both men were given 150 hours of unpaid work and made subject to football banning orders for the next three and a half years.
The judge said: “The people of Liverpool, and other cities where the team goes to play football, need to be sure that you two are not present stirring up trouble.”
The two City fans involved in the brawl were sentenced to 12-month community orders and 150 hours of unpaid work. One was also told to pay £250 compensation to the police office he assaulted. Neither were given football banning orders.