Sunderland and Newcastle fans banned after Tyne-Wear derby trouble

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SUNDERLAND fans have been hit with orders banning them from football matches after derby day disorder at the Stadium of Light.

In separate hearings at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court, trainee electrician James Smart was given a three-year football banning order and ordered to pay a £115 fine.

He admitted going onto the pitch and “waving his arms about” when Asamoah Gyan scored a 90th minute equaliser for the Black Cats.

Defending, Jason Smith said the 19-year-old, of Hendon Close, was sitting relatively close to the barriers and was “swept up the euphoria”, but did not intrude onto the playing area and went back to his seat afterwards.

Delivery driver Keith Paul Alderson, 26, of Edgemond Court, Hollycarrside, pleaded guilty to the same offence.

Defending, Chris Wilson said Alderson was an “impassioned” Sunderland fan who was making his way down the central aisle of the west stand when he was caught up in a surge of fans celebrating Gyan’s goal.

He climbed over advertising boards and was arrested on the pitchside track.

District Judge Elsey ordered he pay a £185 fine and imposed a four-year banning order.

Newcastle supporter Ricky Fenwick, also 19, of Hertford, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage and throwing part of a seat after he was seen stamping on a seat until it smashed, then hurling a piece at Sunderland fans.

He was spotted by an off-duty police officer and arrested as he was leaving the ground.

Mitigating, Mark Richardson said Fenwick had given up a life-long interest in football after the incident.

He was also fined £115 and given a three-year football banning order.

Steven Wilton, a season ticket holder for five years, escaped a football banning order, despite the court hearing how he was seen celebrating in the Sunderland goal area.

The 25-year-old, from East Vines, also admitted going onto the playing area.

But defence solicitor Heather Bolton said he was walking down a flight of stairs towards the pitch to leave the match, when Gyan scored and he was pushed along by the jubilant home crowd.

District Judge Elsey fined Wilton £115 and said: “Anyone who has stood in the Fulwell end of Roker Park can understand how you can get caught up in the surge.”

A drunk Sunderland fan has also been warned he could face jail after he hurled blows at a group of rival Newcastle supporters he claimed were throwing bottles at him after the match.

Aaron Leslie Sproat, 24, of North Bridge Street, was spotted by police after the game, running through empty Sunderland seats towards Newcastle fans, throwing punches “indiscriminately”.

He pleaded guilty to a public order offence.

Prosecutor John McGlone said Sproat, who has 33 previous convictions, claimed rival fans had thrown bottles at him and they had been having “football banter”, but admitted he was “trying to wind the fans up”.

Defending, Chris Wilson said: “He was leaving the ground and a group of Newcastle fans were throwing bottles towards his direction.

“A number of punches rained down on him. He accepts he threw punches back, but he quite rightly feared for his own safety, being dragged into 3,000 Newcastle supporters.”

Adjourning the case for reports, District Judge Elsey said: “We cannot decide the sentence until a pre-sentence report has been prepared about you.”