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Dorset Police reveal decision on whether Newcastle United fans to be charged with assaulting steward

4 weeks ago
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Earlier this month, five Newcastle United fans appeared in court charged with encroaching onto the pitch during the away game at Bournemouth.

Matt Ritchie scoring a last gasp equaliser which led to a small number of supporters spilling onto the side/edge of the pitch.

A combination of high spirits, poorly designed stadium and ill-judged placement of away fans, leading to the arrests.

With the Birmingham idiot being jailed for assaulting Jack Grealish only days earlier, it looked to be a bit of a case of bad timing for the Newcastle fans who were charged. As fans of other clubs said that it was a regular occurrence when they had been to Bournemouth, though normally no arrests made.

A number of other matches involving fans at different stadiums have since seen similar instances of fans celebrating and spilling onto the pitch but no arrests made.

At least some common sense prevailed when the five Newcastle fans were given their punishment (see below) in early April, whilst they had the inconvenience of travelling to the south coast and paying £1,1000 in fines and courts costs between them, at least they weren’t given banning orders.

However, after that court appearance, it was confirmed that four of the Newcastle fans fined, remained under investigation for assault.

A female steward having suffered a nose injury at that Bournemouth v Newcastle match.

I was at the game and didn’t see anything resembling an assault and no photos or video footage picked up anything.

Tuesday has seen Dorset Police confirm that no Newcastle supporter is to be charged with assault after they completed their investigation.

Obviously disappointing that the steward picked up the injury but it always sounded most likely that any injury was accidental, as there didn’t appear to be any malice from the Newcastle fans involved, just football fans getting a bit carried away with that late goal.

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BBC News report:

‘Four football fans have been told they will not be charged with assaulting a steward at a Premier League match.

The female steward suffered a nose injury during a pitch incursion at AFC Bournemouth on 16 March, police said.

Five Newcastle United supporters were subsequently fined for encroaching on the pitch shortly after their team’s late equaliser in the 2-2 draw.

An assault investigation involving four of the men has been dropped, Dorset Police said.

All five pleaded guilty on 2 April of going on to the playing area without lawful excuse.

They were handed fines ranging from £80 to £135 by magistrates in Poole, Dorset.

The four men released from the inquiry without charge are: Ricky Farish, 29, of Spittal, Northumberland; Steve Gordon, 40, of Birkshaw Walk, Newcastle; Christopher Lewin, 32, of Alnwick, Northumberland; and Louis Ross, 19, of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside.’

The Mag – 3 April 2019:

Late on Tuesday night we brought you the news that the Newcastle fans arrested at Bournemouth, had not been given football banning orders.

Something (giving them bans) which would have been ridiculous considering there was clearly no malice involved, simply some Newcastle fans spilling onto the side of the pitch as they celebrated Matt Ritchie’s late equaliser.

The fact that the incident even led to arrests and court appearances, appearing to be simply pure bad luck with the Bournemouth match coming only days after the Birmingham idiot ran on the pitch and attacked Jack Grealish.

Nevertheless, the five Newcastle fans had to travel all the way to the south coast for their court appearance in Poole on Tuesday.

Whilst they didn’t get banning orders, they have all been fined and had to pay costs and a victim surcharge, with BBC Sport having revealed that the five have to pay out £1,100 between them

The fines ranged from £80 to £135 and the quintet all had to each pay £85 and £35 victim surcharge.

BBC Sport report:

Five football fans have been fined for going on to the pitch during a Premier League match at Bournemouth.

Supporters spilled from the away stand when Newcastle United scored a late equaliser in the 2-2 draw on 16 March.

The men pleaded guilty to the charge at Poole Magistrates’ Court and received fines ranging from £80 to £135.

Four of the men remain under investigation for allegedly assaulting a female steward who suffered a nose injury, police said.

Fines imposed

Mitchell Donley, 24, of Andover, Hampshire – £135

Ricky Farish, 29, of Spittal, Northumberland – £100

Steve Gordon, 40, of Birkshaw Walk, Newcastle – £80

Christopher Lewin, 31, of Alnwick, Northumberland – £85

Louis Ross, 18, of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside – £100

The men were each ordered to pay £85 costs and a £35 victim surcharge.

Farish, Gordon, Lewin and Ross remain under investigation for assault.

Newcastle United declined to say whether the club had taken action against any of the five men.

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