West Ham fans get match bans lifted after fight with Sunderland supporters
Three West Ham fans who were banned from matches after a mass brawl with rival Sunderland supporters have won a courtroom application to be allowed to attend games.
Danny Brooker, Charlie Adolph and Jamie Hume got involved in terrifying scenes of city centre violence before their teams clashed on the pitch at the Stadium of Light in January 2013.
In February 2014 the trio were given suspended jail sentences, plus three year football banning orders, for the parts they played in the fighting.
At Newcastle Crown Court the men, who did not attend in person, made an application for the bans to be lifted - a year before they are due to expire.
Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, objected to the bans being lifted and told the court: "Given the nature of the violence, it was highly planned, organised, was not spontaneous.
"This was Sunderland and West Ham."
The court heard applicants can apply to have football bans, which can be imposed for between three and five years, lifted once they have served two thirds.
Mr Wardlaw added: "The crown take the view the order imposed was the shortest term that could be imposed and there appears to be no good reason why the order should be removed."
The court heard for almost a year before the men received the suspended prison terms, they had to abide by strict bail conditions, which included and two mile exclusion zone around any football stadium hosting a Premier League or England game.
Speaking at court, Judge Jeremy Freedman said the time the men spent banned from matches because of the bail terms persuaded him to lift the banning orders with effect from today.
He said: "On the basis all three have served close to three years by way of football ban I am going to revoke the orders in all three cases.
"Their applications to revoke football banning orders is allowed."
The shocking confrontation outside Revolution bar in Low Row, Sunderland was captured on CCTV and led to both Sunderland and West Ham factions going through the courts.
Judge Freedman told them at the time: "Although this was a terrifying incident for those who had the misfortune to witness it, it was of very short duration.
"This was a serious incident of violence.
"I am satisfied it was planned, arrangements had been made in advance of January 12 for their to be an encounter between West Ham and Sunderland supporters.
"I cannot say who was responsible for the planning but I am satisfied there was communication via telephone or Facebook. This fight was arranged."
The court heard one witness to the incident said they felt "sick to the stomach" because of what they saw.
Charlie Adolph, 24, of Gibbons Close, St Albans, Hertfordshire, was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 100 hours unpaid work.
Jamie Hume, 31, of Clayburn Road, Hampton Centre, Peterborough, was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 12 months supervision.
Danny Brooker, 25, of Priory Avenue, Harefield, Middlesex, was given two months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 100 hours unpaid work.