Reading fan punched fellow supporter in the mouth after Sunderland match at Stadium of Light
A Reading football fan has avoided a match-day ban after punching a fellow supporter during a confrontation at the Stadium of Light.
Ian Taylor, 56, whacked the fellow Reading fan, who had reacted angrily to their team conceding a late losing goal in the clubs' Championship game on Saturday, February 11.
Season ticket holder Taylor, of Bramshaw Road, Reading, watched concerned as his victim booted a bin in fury close to where he was standing with his son.
Taylor verbally challenged the man over his antics – and attacked him minutes later as they left the ground after the final whistle, fearing his boy was in danger.
At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, he was fined £150 for an attack he admitted and was ordered to pay his victim £100 compensation.
But a judge refused an application by prosecutors for Taylor to be banned from watching his beloved team, saying his assault was not football related.
Prosecutor Niamh Reading said: “The man was leaving the Stadium of Light, he was at the turnstiles.
“A male identified as the defendant punched him to the side of the head. He thought he was having a go at his son.
“He was challenged by the man and was punched again. The defendant was subsequently arrested.
“When questioned, he said, ‘I hit him to protect my son’.
"He said he had had an argument inside the ground.
“He said his victim had kicked a bin and had sworn at his son. The defendant got into an altercation which spilled outside the ground.”
Taylor, who is of good character, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating.
Angus Westgarth, defending, said: “As he was leaving the ground, a fellow Reading fan, the complainant, kicked a bin across the concourse, right in front of him.
“Mr Taylor told him there was no need for that. The fan squared up to his son. He doesn’t accept that he hit him at that point.
“As he was walking out of the stadium, that same person turned towards him and said, ‘You’re following me’.
“He said he wasn’t and was going to the Metro station.
"He feels the man squared up to him. His son has medical issues. He punched him in the mouth, once.”
District Judge Paul Currer accepted Taylor had been concerned for his son’s safety and his attack was not linked to the match.
He said the imposition of a football banning order against Taylor was not necessary.
Taylor must also pay £85 court costs.