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Stephen Mulhern and Emma Willis 9am - 12pm
15 June 2016, 14:17
Three football fans who squared up to police at a match at Villa Park in Birmingham have been banned from games for a total of 13 years.
It happened when Aston Villa hosted West Brom in March. The Albion trio had been confronting rival fans during the FA Cup tie.
John Ritchie, Carl Ashmore and Robert Bernard won't be allowed to travel to watch England in Euro 2016 either.
A police divide had been created to separate the two sets of supporters – but Ritchie, Ashmore and Bernard were captured confronting officer and trying to push through police lines as they goaded and abused opposition supporters.
Other evidence about tehir behaviour shown to the court included trouble after a game with Birmingham City in which a pub was forced to close due to anti-social behaviour.
Ritchie, aged 35, of Marnhan Road in West Bromwich, was given a FBO for five years after appearing before magistrates in Sandwell last Thursday (9 June). He received two previous orders in 2007 and 2010.
Bernard, 51, of Carisbrooke Road, Wednesbury, was also handed a five-year ban at court on 13 May; it’s his second after receiving an initial order in 2007.
And Ashmore, 30, of Kesteven Road in Hateley Heath, was given his first FBO lasting three years at the magistrates court on Friday (10 June).
It means they are banned from travelling to watch England or be within five miles of a town or city where Albion are playing for three hours before and after a match.
PC Jane Thursfield, from the force’s football unit, said: “There is no place for violence or disorder at football and it is something we will not tolerate.
“We will have no hesitation in seeking banning orders against those we believe are connected with football hooliganism.
“Even if you are not directly involved; if we can build up evidence of association with others during violence and disorder we can build a case for an FBO.
“We have ‘spotters’ on the lookout for people who try to breach their order; but those who do face being arrested and jailed.”