Sunderland monkey-dance yob breaches football banning order

Liam Jones
Liam Jones
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A FOOTBALL yob landed himself back in court after flouting a banning order imposed when he racially abused a Premiership football player.

Liam Jones was given the three-year ban earlier this month after pleading guilty to making a monkey gesture at Romelu Lukaku when the Belgian striker scored for West Brom at the Stadium of Light.

But the 22-year-old was back in court after he breached the order by not reporting to police.

Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, told Sunderland Magistrates’ Court that Jones was supposed to visit Gill Bridge police station five days after the order was made by magistrates on August 1.

But Jones, from Sunderland, failed to turn up and was arrested four days later.

Jones pleaded guilty to breaching a football banning order and seven other offences – stealing alcohol, being drunk and disorderly, using threatening behaviour, possession of cannabis and failing to turn up at court three times – dating back to last September.

Mr Laidlaw said Jones, from Ford Estate, was arrested on January 12, after he was spotted brawling in Vine Place, Sunderland, shortly after 4.40am.

Another early-morning clash led to him being charged with a public order offence, after he punched a man outside Red Chilli takeaway in Holmeside at 2.58am on May 19.

The victim refused to co-operate with police, so officers could not press assault charges, but the incident was caught on CCTV.

Jones also admitted stealing 10 bottles of Stella, worth £7.50, from the Shell garage in Ryhope Road on September 8 last year.

Brian Chapman, defending, thought magistrates would be more concerned by the number of offences Jones had totted up.

He said: “I suggest that each individual offence would not trouble you so much.

“But I suspect what will be of more concern to you is the frequency with which Mr Jones is getting into trouble and making somewhat of an irritant of himself to the police and general public.”

He added that unemployed Jones, of General Havelock Street, had used drugs from an early age, which had left him with mental health problems, and he lived a “chaotic lifestyle”.

Chairman of the Bench Eileen Upton ordered Jones to complete an 18-month community order with drug rehabilitation.

“The court is very concerned about your situation,” she said.

“We are very concerned, because we have to punish you for your offences, and rehabilitate you. You are a young man and have your life ahead of you.”

Jones, who owes the court more than £950 in fines, must also pay a £60 victim surcharge and £40 towards the costs of prosecuting him.