Drunken Sunderland fan spat beer at family on train home from away game

The two Sunderland fans ended up in court after returning from the club's friendly at Hibs in July last year.
The two Sunderland fans ended up in court after returning from the club's friendly at Hibs in July last year.

A Sunderland fan spat beer at a family after he was challenged about his rowdy behaviour on a train back from an away game.

The liquid landed in the faces and hair of a woman and her 13-year-old daughter after the woman's husband had challenged James Finley and a second Black Cats supporter about their language.

A court was told Finley, from Sunderland, and Daniel Wilson started swearing and being abusive after boarding the 6pm Edinburgh to London Kings Cross train with a case of beer.

They were returning from the Hibernian versus Sunderland friendly at Easter Road on July 9 last year and sat behind a couple and their son and daughter.

As soon as the train left Waverley Station, both louts, who had been drinking, began swearing loudly.

The court was told that initially the family and other passengers in the carriage tried to ignore their behaviour, feeling like they had to put up with it

As the train continued its journey, however, the men’s conduct and language escalated, leading the husband who was sat with his family to ask them to stop.

At that point Finley sprayed beer out of his mouth all over the man and his family.

The pair were pointed out to two police officers who were travelling on the train and both were summonsed to court.

Finley, 21 of Baden Crescent, Town End Farm, was fined £200 by Northumberland magistrates after pleading guilty to behaving in a disorderly, indecent or offensive manner while Wilson, 19, of Middleton Close, in Durham, was fined £175 after admitting the same offence.

Both were also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge each.

PC John Stubbs, of British Transport Police, said after the case: “The behaviour of Finley and Wilson was completely unacceptable. It must have been extremely unpleasant for the man and his young family, not to mention the other fans and passengers on board too.

“Trains are not extensions of football terraces. Families, young children and older people often travel on match days too.

"This type of behaviour is not something that anyone should have to accept. We take all reports of anti-social behaviour on trains seriously.

"If you witness or experience such behaviour, please contact us on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 discreetly”.