Football fan facing banning order after calling rivals ‘paedos’

Jack Smith leaving Teesside Magistrates' Court
Jack Smith leaving Teesside Magistrates' Court

A football fan is facing a ban from attending matches after being involved in crowd trouble for a second time.

Sunderland AFC season ticket holder Jack James Smith was arrested for shouting ‘paedos’ at Middlesbrough fans as he left the Riverside stadium after the derby game in January.

Smith was previously banned from matches and convicted of breaching the ban in 2015, Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard.

The 21-year-old, from Hartlepool, denied using threatening words and behaviour after the game on January 6, which saw Sunderland knocked out of the FA Cup.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said: “Smith came to the attention of police because he was shouting abuse at Middlesbrough fans and moving towards them.

“He ignored advice from two police officers to mind his language and calm his general conduct.”

PC Matthew Holman was one of a number of Cleveland Police officers on crown control duty.

“He was shouting ‘paedo’ and other forms of abuse at the Middlesbrough fans,” PC Holman told the court.

“He then moved to the edge of the Sunderland fans’ group, closer to me and the Middlesbrough fans.

“I told him to ‘wind his neck in’, which I thought was clear enough.

“He continued to shout and swear, telling me he could say what he effin’ well wanted to. It became obvious he wasn’t heeding warnings, so I arrested and cautioned him.”

Smith, giving evidence in his defence, said he had not been chanting.

“I have anxiety,” he added. “That means I don’t like to shout or make a show of myself. I have no recollection of being spoken to by any police officer other than the one that arrested me. It’s true I swore at him because I was annoyed at being arrested, but I didn’t chant the things he said I did.”

Smith, 21, of Fernville Close, Hartlepool, was convicted of using threatening behaviour.

He was ordered to pay £450 in fines and costs. A hearing on April 17 will determine if he is to be given another banning order.