Sunderland football fan faces grounds ban after Middlesbrough derby arrest

A Sunderland fan is facing a football ground ban after admitting disorderly behaviour during the Tees-Wear derby with Middlesbrough earlier this month.

Simon Cuthbertson, 42, was arrested after making angry gestures at Middlesbrough supporters and climbing over a segregated seating area.

He was involved in a struggle with stewards who intercepted him.

It happened at the end of the Championship match played at The Riverside Stadium on Monday, September 5, which the Black Cats lost 1-0.

The case was heard at Teesside Magistrates Court.

Cuthbertson pleaded guilty to a public order offence of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of violence when he appeared before Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

He must return to court next month to be sentenced when magistrates will also consider issuing him with a Football Banning Order which would prevent him from attending any regulated matches for three years or more.

Michael Embleton, prosecuting, said the game, which had an attendance of over 31,000, was classed as “high risk” by police.

After the final whistle, Cuthbertson was seen pointing and shouting towards the home fans, said Mr Embleton.

He said: “He then makes his way across the segregated line and across the netting, all the time he’s gesticulating.”

Mr Embleton said Cuthbertson reached the middle of the segregation zone and was stopped by stewards as he tried to go further.

He added: “The stewards struggle to gain control of him. There are families and young children in the area.

"He is taken out of the area and arrested.”

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Lee Goodchild, defending, said there were circumstances which contributed to Cuthbertson committing the offence.

They included the recent death of a family member and decline in his mental health.

Mr Goodchild said: “You can see from this gentleman’s previous convictions it’s an offence which is very much out of character.

"The likelihood of it reoccurring is absolutely minimal.”

He will argue against the imposition of a banning order on the next occasion on the grounds it would be unjust and is not needed to prevent further violence or disorder.

The case was adjourned until Tuesday, October 18, and Cuthbertson, of Cuba Street, Hendon, Sunderland, was granted unconditional bail by the magistrates.