The case of a Norwich City fan who was arrested at the Canaries’ successful Championship play-off final win at Wembley for holding a flare will face no further action after the case was discontinued.
The 25 year old male was due to go on trial at Brent Magistrates’ Court after pleading not guilty to throwing or casting a firework in a public place, namely outside the country’s national stadium on 25 May 2015.
But the case will not proceed after a decision was made to discontinue the prosecution against the football fan.
The male had already appeared at a previous hearing at Hendon Magistrates’ Court which heard he was handed the flare by another man and it was lit when in his possession, although he denied throwing it.
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today confirmed the case against the had been dropped.
He said: “The police took the decision to charge this individual with an offence under section 80 of the Explosives Act 1875. Following the submission of a not guilty plea at the first court hearing, the CPS carried out a full review under the Code For Crown Prosecutors, which is in line with our procedures. In order to proceed with the case we would need to prove that the item was ‘thrown, cast or fired’ in a public place. Following the review of available evidence it was decided that there was insufficient evidence to show that the individual had thrown the item or otherwise done anything that would amount to an offence under section 80. The case was therefore discontinued.”
In a similar case a Norwich City season ticket holder has pleaded guilty to letting off a flare during the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road ground. The 28-year-old from Quidenham, Norfolk, pleaded guilty when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to possessing a firework/flare at a sporting event on 9 May 2015.
He was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling nearly £700. Norwich City declined to comment on whether the club will take action against the fan. However, the club is understood to be liaising with police over the events leading to his conviction.
The Canaries fan is said to have been a season ticket holder for around 20 years. He had no previous convictions prior to the incident at Ipswich during the 1-1 draw. The flare was let off between 12.50pm and 1pm, causing what police described as “enormous” amounts of smoke which enveloped the stand. Stewards who saw what had happened removed the supporter from the stand and handed him over to police.
Following his guilty plea, magistrates fined him £400. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and £40 to the victims’ fund.