Sunderland fan fined £300 after throwing half-eaten pork pie onto Stadium of Light pitch

Stadium of Light
Stadium of Light
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A Sunderland fan who threw a half-eaten pork pie onto the Stadium of Light pitch has been fined £300.

George Anthony Mackel lobbed the pie onto the playing area during the second half of the Black Cats’ 3-1 defeat against Reading on December 2.

You know that disorder at football matches can have serious consequences and can encourage others to instigate similar incidents

District Judge Roger Elsey

South Northumbria magistrates heard the 34-year-old was seen by a police inspector on duty to throw it from the stands during the second half.

And his actions led to him being slapped with a £300 fine.

Prosecutor Lee Poppett said: “When asked why he had thrown it onto the playing area, he replied that he had done nothing wrong.

“He’s refused to provide any details and found himself being forcibly arrested.”

Mr Poppett added that when he was take to the stadium cells, he appeared aggressive, adding: “All I did was throw half a pie at the pitch.”

Mr Poppet said: “This is an offence of throwing a missile in very much a legal sense.

“It did not strike players and as half a pork pie was unlikely to cause injury. It is, however, inciting others to throw items onto the pitch.

Mackel, of Baltimore Avenue, Town End Farm, pleaded guilty to throwing a missile onto a football playing area, contrary to the Football (offences) Act 1991.

Paul MacAlindon, defending, said: “Mr Mackel doesn’t dispute what he had thrown.

“He said ‘I’ve threw the pie on the pitch’.

“He clearly is a man who doesn’t regularly trouble the courts.

“Clearly what is of more concern to him is a potential football banning order.

“He is not a season ticket holder and he doesn’t attend the Stadium of Light regularly, but he is a Sunderland fan.

“On this occasion, his brother was struggling financially and he decided to buy the two of them tickets to the game.

“This incident happened when Sunderland was already one down and Reading scored again.

“He was eating a pie at the time and it was a momentary lapse of concentration.

“He intended to throw the pie on the ground, but he threw it onto the pitch.

“He’s shown a great deal of remorse and he is concerned about the likely publicity that will follow, which it generally does from incidents within the ground.

“Clearly he hasn’t got the record of someone prone to going out getting drunk and causing disorder at football matches.”

District Judge Roger Elsey said: “You know that disorder at football matches can have serious consequences and can encourage others to instigate similar incidents.

“An offence of throwing a missile onto a football pitch has to be punished.”

Mackel was fined £300 and was told to pay a £30 surcharge and £85 costs.

Judge Elsey said he had decided not to make a football banning order, citing Mackel’s lack of previous arrests for football-related disorder and the lack of consequential disorder following the incident. As a result, he said, the order would not help prevent violence and disorder.

The judge warned him: “You understand that if you get arrested at the Stadium of Light again there will be a banning order.”