Hemel Hempstead Man Jailed Following Football Fight

18 April 2015, 07:50 | Updated: 18 April 2015, 07:51

Four men, including one from Hemel Hempstead have been jailed for football-related disorder which occurred in west London.

The group were involved in violent disorder outside a public house following a Queens Park Rangers versus Burnley FC Championship match on 1 February 2014.

All four were sentenced for affray on Friday, 17 April at Isleworth Crown Court. They are:

[A] Harry Childs, 18 (08.06.96) of Mountnessing Road, Billericay, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment;

[B] Jack Hutchins, 21 (13.01.94) of Tom Lanes, Kings Langley, was sentenced to one year's imprisonment;

[C] Dean Foreman, 27 (05.01.88) of Church Road, Northolt, was sentenced to one year's imprisonment;

[D] Bradley Pack, 22 (31.12.92) of Howards Drive, Hemel Hempstead, was sentenced to 30 weeks imprisonment.

All four men also received six-year Football Banning Orders under section 14a of the Football Spectators Act 1989.

Childs, Hutchins and Foreman were found guilty of the offences on Friday, 6 March with Pack previously entering a guilty plea.

During a two-week trial, the court heard how QPR supporters Childs, Hutchins, Foreman and Pack, gathered outside the Plough and Harrow Public House shortly before 17:00hrs, where a number of Burnley supporters were having a post-match drink.

Earlier that day a match between QPR and Burnley had taken place resulting in a 3-3 draw.

Whilst outside the venue, Childs, Hutchins, Foreman and Pack confronted Burnley supporters through the windows outside the pub. This was met by shouting from within the pub back at them. Moments after the shouting escalated to violence and the pub's window being kicked and shattered by Childs. A number of people were then assaulted and punched outside the pub.

In fear of the violence spreading into the premises, the pub manager locked the glass front doors and called 999.

Childs - who was wearing a distinctive red patent jacket - and his three associates moved up along Kings Street where they came across further Burnley and QPR supporters. Further spontaneous violence took place.

Police arrived at the scene, however Hutchins and Foreman evaded the attention of police. Childs and Pack were stopped nearby where they identified themselves to the police, however they were not arrested as there was no evidence to support their involvement in the disorder at the time.

An investigation was immediately launched by detectives from Hammersmith and Fulham with support from specialist officers from the Central Football Policing unit. Hours of CCTV were painstakingly examined in a bid to identify those responsible for the disorder.

On 9 June 2014 officers simultaneously attended the addresses of Childs, Hutchins, Foreman and Pack and all four men were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.

They subsequently appeared on 25 July 2014 at Hammersmith Magistrates' Court charged with affray.

Chief Inspector Simon Causer said: "This kind of behaviour is entirely unacceptable to the police, the thousands of law-abiding and genuine football fans, the clubs and the general public. Our hope is that, in light of these convictions and sentences, perpetrators will think very carefully about the consequences of their actions before carrying out football violence.

"Our borough has a proud history in policing successful match day operations and we have extensive experience working together with our residents and businesses to ensure that our communities are safe and able to enjoy this great sport.

"With continued support from our football clubs and local partners we remain resolute in our zero-tolerance policy towards football related violence and we utterly condemn such actions."

PC Paul Todd, from the Met's Central Football Unit, said: "Football violence has reduced over the years but there are still a minority that insist on putting people at risk by fighting in busy streets near members of public. People arrested for football violence do not only get a criminal record but can also receive an order preventing them from attending football matches in the future."

A spokesperson for QPR, said: "The vast majority of QPR fans are excellent ambassadors and passionate supporters. However the club takes a zero tolerance position to violence in or around the stadium and will continue to fully cooperate with the police in these rare instances."